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Ultimate Santana

4.6 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 16, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

2007 collection, the first-ever career-spanning celebration of the artist and his music, from the groundbreaking early years through the continually explosive Arista recordings. Carlos Santana is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and has 14 Grammy awards to his name. This compilation also features new tracks performed with Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Tina Turner and other surprises! Includes the massive hits 'Smooth', 'Black Magic Woman', 'Evil Ways', 'Oye Como Va' and many others.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • ASIN: B000UOOT1W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Imagine if Capitol Records put out an ULTIMATE BEATLES collection, but didn't include anything from A HARD DAY'S NIGHT through SGT PEPPER. That's what ULTIMATE SANTANA feels like. There are six tracks from their classic first three albums: SANTANA (1969), ABRAXAS (1970) and SANTANA III (1971). Then (except for "Europa" from 1976's AMIGOS), none of the remaining tracks date back any further than 1999's SUPERNATURAL. In fact, more than half of the tracks on this collection come from Santana's "comeback" period when the band released three star-studded albums including SUPERNATURAL, SHAMAN (2002) and ALL THAT I AM (2005).

Longtime fans will be better served by 1998's single-disc THE BEST OF SANTANA or 2002's double-disc THE ESSENTIAL SANTANA. This latest collection is principally targeted for Santana's latter-day fans. There are flashes of brilliance with the big name cameos ("Smooth," for example, was a huge hit for a reason--it's a damn good song), but overall they pale in comparison to the band's seminal Seventies' work. If you're interested in Santana's work over the past decade (but don't want to purchase their last three albums), this does a nice job of catching you up.
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Format: Audio CD
It is true that this Best Of... disc covers Santana's entire career, and it DOES cover Santana's music on Columbia and Arista, but don't be fooled by those ideas. It is VERY loaded with more recent Santana hits, with a few of his more classic songs thrown in for good measure.

Most of the songs are from the Supernatural era and beyond (1999-), so you are missing a great, great chunk of Santana's 60's - 80's music. For most of Santana's relatively new fans, this is a fine compliation of pop hits. More serious/long-term fans are probably better suited to hold onto their previously bought (one of many) compilation CDs.

The ULTIMATE collection? This is not. Santana needs a substantial double-CD covering everything: the 60's and 70's latin soul jams, the 80's pop stuff (yes, including "Winning"), while still including the Arista years. Wait for it.

All things considered, this is a fine compilation. The mastering is very clean and dynamic--it does sound great. Unfortunately, the track selection just misses the mark...
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Format: Audio CD
The new 'greatest' by Santana sounds outstanding--crystal-clear and pulsing with energy and sound. The standards are on here, and they sound great. However, I do not think this collection represents the best of Santana. There is too much of his newer (collaborative) material, and while I enjoy the new songs, they are not as strong as his early music. While this is ultimately a satisfying album, I would not consider it the definitive collection of the Great Carlos Santana's works.

Four stars. Good, not great.
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Format: Audio CD
The love affair with Latin music in the United States and internationally has ebbed and flowed from the craze for Cuban Mambo in the 1940s and 50s to the widespread popularity of Latin tropical and pop acts today.

Santana, as a musician and arranger, is a pivotal figure in this history and he has been an ambassador to the world of Latin American musical culture. In the 1960s and 70s, Santana's pioneering guitar arrangements, rooted in the Latin American traditions that were flowering at the time (for a beautiful example of traditional Latin American guitar virtuosity, see: Puerto Plata: Mujer de Cabaret), brought Latin music into the pop mainstream. Santana's fusion of typical Latin American rhythms with edgy US rock inspired generations and helped begin the Latin rock movement (inspiring the likes of legendary Manu Chao: Clandestino).

Today Santana continues to work tirelessly to secure the place of Latin music in popular culture, collaborating with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Steve Tyler (Aerosmith). Ironically (or perhaps mystically as Carlos would see it) while Santana in his youth broke with tradition by encouraging these musical fusions, his is now a voice of tradition within them.

This compilation of 18 masterful songs, some of them never before released, ranging from the beginning of Santana's career until today, is fitting and deserving tribute to an artist who has contributed so much to the world of music. As one would expect with a Santana release, the cover artwork provides plenty for the eye to contemplate as the ear listens.
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Format: Audio CD
Imagine what a CD titled Ultimate Michael Jackson that only contains 7 songs from his Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad albums, and the remaining 12 or so songs from his History and Invincible albums. As much as I love Santana, this CD is kind of a strange collection with much of his older songs not included in favor of his newer albums, including two versions of Game of Love. I much preferred the older Santana during his peak in the early 70s with Evil Ways and Oye Como Va, and it does include his absolute most famous older songs such as those and Black Magic Woman, but also leaves much to be desired. His newer songs are good, but some of them are nowhere near the level of expertise and professionalism and soul as his earlier songs. If you are more of a fan of his newer songs, this album might appeal to you, and you do get a few of his old songs, but if you are a fan of Santana's 70s hits, this CD will only disappointed you. I recommend passing this CD up to get a compiliation album of his older material, and then buying his newer albums if you like his new style and updated sound. Of course you still get kind of a jazzy/soulful sound with his newer stuff, but its nowhere near as groundbreaking as his older stuff, and I can't stress that enough. This is still a good album, but it just is a very odd compilation, that includes more of his less desirable stuff, and less of his absolute best.
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