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Working from their collective encyclopedic knowledge of rock, Carlos Santana and Clive Davis devised a list of guitar-centric titles and then invited a Who s Who of guest vocalists to perform on every track. Singers range from Chris Cornell (on Led Zeppelin s Whole Lotta Love ), Pat Monahan (on Van Halen s Dance the Night Away ), Chester Bennington and Ray Manzarek (on The Doors Riders on the Storm ), Rob Thomas (on Cream s Sunshine Of Your Love), Scott Weiland (on the Rolling Stones Can t You Hear Me Knockin ), Chris Daughtry (on Def Leppard s Photograph ), Gavin Rossdale (on T. Rex s Bang A Gong ) to rapper Nas (on AC/DC s Back In Black ), veteran Joe Cocker (on Jimi Hendrix s Little Wing ), and more.
A very special dedication to George Harrison comes together on GUITAR HEAVEN..., with While My Guitar Gently Weeps, featuring singer india.arie and master cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Listening to the song, Olivia Harrison told Carlos, it made me jump for joy and cry at the same time.
DVD includes the making of Guitar Heaven and an interview with Carlos Santana and Clive Davis.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the song choices have you scratching your head. Would "Photograph" really appear on anyone's list of top guitar classics? Including a Van Halen tune is a no brainer, but is "Dance the Night Away" really a song that defines Eddie's one-of-a-kind stylings? At any rate, song selection is really just minor quibling. Performance could easily change things. But too many of the songs are bland recreations of the original ground-breaking performances. Some takes are downright blasphemous. "Riders on the Storm", despite Ray Manzarek sitting in, has lost completely all of its stark and spooky imagery and without that, what's left? "Little Wing" has been covered so brilliantly by other artists, so why try to compete with that? Carlos, usually a master of beautiful lyrical lines that could have done this composition justice, just doesn't seem to find the feel you'd expect on perhaps the definitive Jimi Hendrix tune. There are some departures from the lame and mundane, notably Chris Cornell's robust vocal delivery on "Whole Lotta Love" (something you won't hear from the song's orignal vocalist these days) and the beautiful and inventive reinterpretation of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". But it's not enough to save this mess. And really, given the talent involved, is a dramatic disappointment.
Crazy Carlos' career has taken some drastic turns and this is definitely one. We can only hope he finds his way again...
1 - The first time I heard it, I was EXTREMELY disappointed. It was NOT the Carlos Santana that I wanted to hear. However, the CD IS the Carlos Santana that HE wanted to play, and you know what? -- It is excellent.
2 - Poor marketing decisions are the real problem here. The title at the top makes it look like a cheap, 99-cent TV special limited time offer. If you call within the next five minutes, you, too, can have Carlos Santana playing the hits of the decades. WHO designed this thing? Worse, who decided to add that "greatest guitar classics" line as part of the title? Talk about trashing the effort.
3 - "Guitar Heaven" would possibly have served by itself as the title, except "Guitar Heaven," to me, means long, uninterrupted lead breaks with minimal or no singing in the song whatsoever. This should have been called "Rock Heaven" or something. Bad, bad marketing.
4 - According to a recent interview, there's potential hope at the studio end for volumes II and even III of this thing. I would hope not. It's a pleasant musical curiosity and an interesting artist divergency, but Carlos Santana needs to sound like himself. THAT'S what we're all waiting for out here. The REAL next CD.
5 - A good thing about the CD -- The pretty orange CD face with the big Santana on it is reminiscent of the Carlos Santana/Buddy Miles Live cover. You almost don't notice the silly title.
6 - RE: The songs -- Every single one on here is very, very nicely done. They all do what I think they were intended to do, which is balance commercial covers with musical interpretation, some more so than others. How much wiggle room is there, really, in doing "Whole Lotta Love?Read more ›
In spite of what some have said, Carlos Santana's last couple records were not total washouts, and "Supernatural" does not deserve derision by any means. In fact, it still holds up a solid decade later.
The problem is that nothing sounds impassioned, organic or genuine on "Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time," whether it be Santana's playing - which, for the most part, sounds merely pleasant and semi-rote - and the vocal contributions of the singers who make guest shots.
The realization that this record is from a man who played Woodstock is, frankly, saddening.
The song selections are not always so hot, either, and when they are - whether it's the immortal "Riders on the Storm" from the Doors or the inescapable brilliance of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" - the results almost exclusively sound like top-notch karaoke than worthy covers.
Half the material here may be songs so evergreen that they sell themselves, but this also works against Santana and his vocalists - they fight an uphill battle to put any stamp of originality on these covers.
Santana only deserves criticism for consenting to do this project. The original idea to do a record of classic rock covers was that of record industry titan Clive Davis. He has been a shrewd businessman and a fine tastemaker throughout his career, but his strategies have primarily concerned what would sell, not what would sound good or have integrity behind it. Thirty years ago he took Melissa Manchester, who crafted idiosyncratic, adult-oriented pop, and forced her to sing maudlin adult contemporary ballads and, eventually, embarrassing bubble gum, all written by "hit makers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love hearing all of these songs remade with different singers and Carlos Santana performing the guitar solos. Great Album!!!Published 13 days ago by dhtammy
Pretty good once you allow for the context. Carlos rocks rather than swings and if you ignore all the negative reviews you may just end up really digging it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ichwill Einbeer Bitter
Good covers aren't for everyone. There are people who like what they like and don't want 'other versions'.
I love a good cover, a re-imagining of a classic. Read more
Love Santana, but really regret this purchase. Nothing inspiring for me. Others may differ.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer