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4.4 out of 5 stars
Abraxas
Format: Audio CDChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 1999
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Wonderful album, worth its price just for its digital remastering of Albraxas. This 30th anniversary albumn also comes with liner notes by original Rolling Stone Magazine reporter Ben Fong-Torres in which Greg Rollie reminisces about the Albraxas recording sessions in 1970 and origins of the songs. Only flaw in this new CD is the rather gratuitous inclusion of several cuts from a live concert at the Albert Hall in London, which featured early versions of Se A Cabo, Toussaint L'Overture, and Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen two months before these tunes were definitively recorded on Albraxas. This live performance was horribly engineered (wouldn't you think they'd at least have recorded Greg Rollie's microphone when he sang Black Magic Woman?) However, all in all, this CD is a great buy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This second album from Santana is the first Santana album I had ever heard, and is the one that got me interested in their first and third albums. Notice I didn't say any albums after Gregg Rolie left the group! I am a very big fan of Rolie's singing, songwriting, and organ playing, and I may be the only one that says this, but I think Santana has never truly recovered since Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon left to form Journey. Don't get me wrong--I still love Santana. But I've seen the 2002 edition of the group, and I think every one in that 1970 version was replaceable except Rolie. They actually have THREE guys replacing Gregg now: One to play the keyboards, and two to sing his old parts. There may be FOUR guys altogether, if they have another guy to write some of the new songs. But back in the day, Gregg did all of the singing and songwriting of the English-language songs, plus he was one of the best organists I have ever heard--an ability he certainly carried over into Journey. I think some of the most powerful and emotional songs of Santana's were the ones Gregg wrote and sang--songs on this album like "Mother's Daughter" and "Hope your Feeling Better", and songs from their first album like "You Just Don't Care", "Persuasion", and "Shades of Time". For a band known for jamming, those were some fairly decent and concise pop songs, performed Santana-style. Gregg's vocals had so much conviction, as though he was really feeling the words that he wrote--his bluesy delivery and soulful organ reminding me of 'another' Gregg--Gregg Allman from the Allman Brothers Band. You could almost say that the early-seventies Santana sounds a lot like the early-Allman Bros. Band with latin percussions. You could also draw a comparison of Carlos Santana's jazzy-Gibson SG guitar tone to the guitar sound and style of early Dickey Betts--an dramatic and emotional sound that at times bordered on "heavy metal", but never went fully in that direction.
As far as Santana's instrumental songs, They're an awful lot like Jeff Beck's: They can either be incredibly beautiful or incredibly boring. On this album, I found "Samba Pa Ti" to be one of his most beautiful to date--a romantic guitar instrumental that proves that love songs don't have to say anything at all (reminds me a lot of Jeff Beck's, "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You".) On the boring side, there is "Incident At Neshabur", which starts out sounding exciting and dramatic, but it drags on and falls apart towards the end.
Of course, you have the FM hits "Blackmagic Woman" and "Oye Como Va" and some minute-or-two long, pointless "conga" filler music: "Se A Cabo" and "El Nicoya", and that's pretty much the album. But again, the bright spots for me are all the songs Gregg Rolie either sang or wrote: "Hope Your Feeling Better", "Blackmagic Woman", and "Mother's Daughter". It was he, in my opinion, that made the early Santana "tick", and made the group the multi-dimensional group it was. His talents are surely lacking in the new Santana. I would love to see Rolie and Carlos work together again somehow, but its been over 30 years. There was as much chemistry between them as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, and I could really hear it on this album. Something really bad must have happened to keep them apart all this time. I wouldn't even mind seeing Gregg Rolie back in Journey, but he was never appreciated in that group once Steve Perry took over the lead vocals and songwriting duties--once Journey decided they needed an attracive, sexy "front man" to bring them the popularity and the female fans they so desired. I understand Gregg Rolie has a new solo CD out, and is struggling to make it on his own. But it's just a shame that someone with as much singing, songwriting, and playing talent as he has, was never meant for much commercial success with two very popular San Francisco groups. Santana did continue to make great pop songs in the mid-to-late 70s and early-80's and they're still my favorite San Francisco band. I just think they sounded better, as they did here, with Gregg Rolie as their main singer and songwriter.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This cd was originally my father's and he played it in rememberance of his crazy days back in 1971 crusing in his Pontiac Firebird. I gave it a listen and loved it. Especially Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen. Other genius tracks that led me to replay were

Singing Winds,Crying Beasts Track 1

Se a Cabo track 5

Hope your feeling better track 8

and the romantic Samba Pa Ti track 7

The only track i don't not agree should be on this original 8 track album is track 9 El Nicoya I strongly recommend to buy the new version relased in 2000 since it has live tracks played april of 1970.I also recommend buying Supernatural. Perfect album I will listen for days to come Santana Abraxas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Santana may have sacrificed his musical integrity for top ten hits in recent years, but Abraxas is still a crowning achievement in the unique guitarists extensive catalog of music. The band's eclectic blend of blues, afro-cuban poly rhythms and jazz sound absolutely stellar on Abraxas. From the Tito Puente classic "Oye Coma Va", to the delicately beatiful samba ballad, "Samba Pa Ti". The band's biggest hit was of course "Black Magic Woman", even here Santana showed he could start a fire with pop hooks and experimentation, he also proved he didn't need 20 matchboxes to get it started.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Abraxas together with Santana(I) and Santana III rate as essential listening. These three early albums highlight the latin rock/blues played originally by Carlos and the band. I heard Santana in this period in Australia and the live sound matched the recorded output. Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va, the last part of Incident at Neshabur, Samba Pa Ti (live was unreal) in particular are magic. I personally think Santana III is best, followed by Santana I and then Abraxas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
Format: VinylVerified Purchase
The Vinyl of Santana's Abraxas, was shipped in a fine amount of time, and i was pleased to find, well, a little more than i asked for haha. I won't say what but, let's just say a straight woman would probably throw it out haha its good for them i'm a straight male. Anyways, i was happy, and i'll be listening to this record for the rest of my life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album still sounds strong after all these years, on the strength of it hits, black magic woman,oye como va, etc. The songs also brought into focus, an intensity from a band that usually engaged in long jams. Check out Live at the Filmore also.
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on June 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I finally treated myself to the CD version of Abraxes (the 98 Legacy version) and was quite surprised
to hear what sounds like re-mixes. Remastering and remixing are two entirely different entities and, to tell the truth, I don't know which is which. When I hear different instruments in the foreground of a song, I tend to think it is a remix. Can this be accomplished with a remaster? I have always been a fan of Albert Gianquinto's beautiful piano solo at the end of Incident At Neshibur and I was shocked to hear him so upfront on this CD version. Not only is he upfont, its like they dropped half the band out of it towards the end of his solo. Not that I'm complaining-its a refreshing, new look at an old favorite-but the listener/purchaser should be made aware that this could be a remixed version of the album. It does not sound the same as the original vinyl LP. I'm sure there are other instances on this disc, but the Incident at Neshibur "remix" is the most obvious. On a related note, if you are also a fan of AG's solo on Incident, you should definitely check out the DVD of Santana, Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane in Night At the Family Dog. You can see Gianquinto playing Incident live with the Santana band!!
This isn't the first time I've heard this kind of discrepancy on Legacy . The 4 classic Spirit albums from the late 60's also will have you scratching your head wondering why it sounds different from what you remember.
Can it be a simple case of remastering? Or has this been remixed?
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on January 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you want to start collection originally recorded material by this band, this is the place to go. The instrumental blending between guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and percussion is in perfect balance between any two speakers. The special touches of Singing Winds Crying Beasts is a perfect lead in to the mystical Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen piece. Oh the pulsating guitar riffs on the finish to that number. Samba Pa Ti and Incident At Neshabar are standout instrumentals, the later is especially cool the way it start so heavy with loads of guitar riffs and then settles down into a peaceful latin jazz composition. Not everyone may completely appreciate this recording as the emphasis is not on vocal performance although what little singing that is on here is performed quite well.In general, song-structure is also not of great emphasisi here. However, it is difficult to top the great instrumental riffs and beldnings and most audiences will give this CD high marks.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
well i finally heard it. even before the bass and drums kicked in i know it wasnt going to have much. its a trebly mix, but makes the instruments sound much more crispy which i like.

i was tired of hearing the same mix on BMW and OCV. this is cool for santana fans that want more from music albums. the 5.1 mix is very great.

i like this better than the regular old album.

my only concern is i think they used a little noise reduction but im not 100 sure. for those of you that know what that is, i dont like it it unless something is really hissy but i doubt that was the case here.
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