Band members               Related acts

- Jose 'Chepito' Areas - percussion (1977)

- David Brown - bass

- Ndugu Leon Chancler - drums, percussion, backing 


- Tom Coster - keyboards, backing vocals

- Pete Escovedo - percussion (1977)

- Graham Lear - drums, percussion (1977)

- David Margen - bass (1977)

- Armanda Peraza - percussion, backing vocals

- Raul Rekow - percussion, backing vocals (1977)

- Greg Rolie - vocals

- Davadip Carlos Santana - guitar, percussion, backing


- Pablo Tellez - bass (1977)

- Greg Walker - vocals (replaced Greg Rolie)



- Jose 'Chepito' Areas (solo efforts)

- Pete Escovedo (solo efforts)

- Greg Rolie (solo efforts)

- Carlos Santana (solo efforts)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Amigos

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PC-33576

Year: 1976

Country/State: Mexico

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4517

Price: $5.00

Cost: $66.00


Santana is one of those bands that I run hot and cold on.  That's certainly the case for 1976's "Amigos".  Produced by David Robinson, Santana's seventh studio set strikes me as a semi-successful effort to find a balance between artistic growth and commercial necessity.  Most of the group's experimental jazz forays are dropped in favor of a much more mainstream set showcasing a mix of funk ('Let Me'), pop ('Tell Me You Are Tired'), and Latin influenced dance moves ('Gitano').  The album's never less than listenable, but I'll be honest and admit that lead vocalist Greg Walker simply doesn't do much for me.  The Santana original instrumental 'Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)' is probably the standout track, though the band returned to the pop charts with the single 'Let It Shine' b/w 'Tell Me You Are Tired' (Columbia catalog number 3-10336).  Propelled by the hit single and generally favorable reviews, the parent LP went top-10.  Tadanori Yokoo's cover is a gas !!!


"Amigos" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermanan)   (Leon Chancler - Tom Coster - David Rubinson) - 8:15

2.) Take Me with You (instrumental)  (Leon Chancler - Tom Coster) - 5:26

3.) Let Me   (Devadip Carlos Santana - Tom Coster) - 4:50


(side 2)

1.) Gitano   (Armanda Peraza) - 6:13

2.) Tell Me You Are Tired  (Leon Chancler - Tom Coster) - 5:42

3.) Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile) (instrumental)  (Devadip Carlos Santana - Tom Coster) - 5:06

4.) Let It Shine   (David Brown - Ray Gardner) - 5:42



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Moonflower

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PC-34914

Year: 1977

Country/State: Mexico

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP, original inner sleeves; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4727

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


I'm not the biggest Santana fan and the thought of a live album ( a double set to boot), didn't exactly set my heart on fire.  That said, finding a nice copy for 50 cents was a deal I couldn't pass up.  Even better, I have to admit that 1977's "Moonflower" is pretty damn entertaining.  The fact that the 16 tracks offer up a mixture of new studio material and concert tracks recorded at various European dates also helps, though the decision to mix studio and concert tracks is occasionally kind of jarring.  Even better, for my money this collection captures Santana's best line up.  Greg Walker was clearly the band's best singer (I'll take him over Greg Rolie any day), while Tom Coster was a great keyboard player and a nice writing partner for Santana himself. The five new studio tracks are suitably commercial with a soulful cover of The Zombies 'She's Not There' even returning the band to the top-40 charts (# 27).  The concert numbers offer up a nice mix of older and more recent material with a corresponding focus on the band's more commercial catalog ('Let the Children Play' and 'Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen'), though there are a couple of jazzy/experimental efforts ('Flor d'Luna (Moonflower)' and the 12 minute 'Savor/Toussaint l'Overture).  One other comment - Santana's guitar playing is stellar throughout (check out 'Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)') and the album sounds great on a nice stereo system.  Propelled by the unexpected hit, the parent album went top-10, eventually going gold (not bad for a double LP).

"Moonflower" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Dawn/Go Within   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 2:44

2.) Carnival   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 2:18

3.) Let the Children Play   (Carlos Santana - Leon Patillo) - 2:38

4.) Jugando   (Carlos Santana - Jose Areas) - 2:16

5.) I'll Be Waiting   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 2:18

6.) Zulu (instrumental)  (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 5:17


(side 2)

1.) Bahia (instrumental)   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 1:37

2.) Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen   (Peter Green / Gabor Szabo) - 6:33

3.) Dance Sister Dance (Balia Mi Harmana)   (Leon Chancler - Tom Costner - David Rubinson) - 7:45

4.) Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile) (instrumental)   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 6:07


(side 3)

1.) She's Not There   (Rod Argent) - 4:08

2.) Flor d'Luna (Moonflower) (instrumental)   (Tom Costner) - 4:59

3.) Soul Sacrifice/Head, Hands & Feet (instrumental)   (Graham Lear - Carlos Santana) - 14:00


(side 4)

1.) El Morocco (instrumental)   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 5:02

2.) Transcendance (instrumental)   (Tom Coster - Carlos Santana) - 5:13

3.) Savor/Toussaint l'Overture (instrumental)   (Carlos Santana) - 12:57


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