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Santana IV

4.3 out of 5 stars 511 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

April 15, 2016 marks the release date of Santana IV, the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the revered early 70s lineup of guitar icon Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album signifies the first time in 45 years since 1971 s multi-platinum classic Santana III that the quintet has recorded together.

Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band that burst with the same unparalleled energy and superlative musicianship that made Santana a pioneering force in world music and a household name across the globe. Joining the core Santana IV band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts.

The origins for the reunion go back several years, when Schon suggested that he and Carlos Santana record together. Santana liked the idea but went one better, proposing that they recruit Rolie, Shrieve and Carabello for what would be called Santana IV. After initial writing sessions and rehearsals took place in 2013, the group recorded throughout 2014 and 2015, amassing 16 spellbinding tracks that combined all their signature elements Afro-Latin rhythms, soaring vocals, electrifying blues-psychedelic guitar solos, and irrepressibly jubilant percussion work with widescreen hooks and melodies that will lodge themselves in the thicket of listeners senses and stay there.

It was magical, Santana says. We didn t have to try to force the vibe it was immense. From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.

Few bands can pick up a musical dialog after 45 years apart, but on Santana IV each band member reaches a new level of virtuosity and communal intuition on a collection of songs that easily stands side-by-side with the group s treasured early work.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 15, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: April 15, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Santana IV Records
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • ASIN: B01AVMS8KA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Todd Jr. on April 15, 2016
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with the reviewer "Beatlenik" completely; this is very much a return to form. It's likely that the fans of "Supernatural" style Santana will find this album to be not quite pop enough; but for those of us who have loyally followed him for decades, there have been too few albums that reach the consistent glories of the original lineup.

This lengthy single c.d. (only a little shorter than the classic double album Moonflower) is exactly what we have been waiting for. I actually prefer Greg Rolie's vocals over all (of the many) Santana singers over the years and, in fact, my only quibble with this album is that he should have been featured a bit more. On the other hand the Ron Isley vocals on a couple of tracks are superb.
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A huge improvemtme5 from his previous album. You can hear that Carlos is "happy" playing the songs of this album. It feels more like the original Santana. Getting this album out with his former band was the best decision. Keep rocking, Mr. Santana.
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I have to say, this is a pretty enjoyable record--lots of solid tracks. Is it a continuation of Santana III, how could it be? It lacks the raw energy of that epic album, but given the elapsed time, this one rocks hard, with a lot of the same, familiar ingredients. This record demonstrates how key Greg Rolie was to Santana; his familiar organ swirls really marks this record as a sort of return to Santana's roots. Plenty searing guitar work and interplay between Carlos and Neal. I would characterize Santana IV as a stylistic amalgam of Santana III and Festival/Moonflower era Santana--some less than stellar lyrics, but always cooking, sonically. A welcome return, and a welcome departure from the formulaic, MOR stuff of late.
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This may not be a lyrical masterpiece but this is a 5 star release just on musicianship alone. Also for those who say Ronald Isley sounds out of place.....Ronald Isley is amazing on this recored. His vocals are still very strong and he reminds me a lot of the Greg Walker days in Santana.
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Format: Audio CD
It is very rare these days when a great group of musicians takes their time in the studio to put out a totally flawless album. It is also very rare when some really great music such as what is found on this album will most likely turn out to be a huge commercial smash. Several potential hits are found here, with Choo Choo being the most obvious. The instrumental All Aboard is tacked onto the end of Choo Choo. Sueno is another instrumental that brings back the feel of Europa, but this one is done on Spanish guitar. Most of this album is driving rock, but many different musical flavors are presented. Ron Isley was also a very good choice as lead singer on the two songs that fit his vocal style.

The only thing that I would change is the running order, swapping out the trippy instrumental Fillmore East with the upbeat Come As You Are. If you own any of Santana's first three albums, you owe it to yourself to get this one. In some ways, it feels like that same vibe is still there, only more mature and focused these days. They have produced more than 75 minutes of good solid music for a bargain price, so this one is a no-brainer.
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To say this is a sprawling album is an understatement. It's too long by about two songs. That said, this is a noteworthy album- the musicianship is of the highest quality and does Santana's legacy proud. Putting the original line-up together after almost forty years is an accomplishment in itself, yet they have more muscle now and sound just as fresh as they ever have. Yambu starts the set off and is a jungle romp, blending african influence with latin seamlessly on a foundation of classic rock. The rest of the album soars, weaves, amazes and challenges with equal ferocity. You'd expect nothing less from a band that set rock music on fire all those decades past.
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Amazing!!!!!!! On my third listen today. These guys still got it. Need it on vinyl. Even Ronald Isley's guest vocals are silky smooth. We all know Carlos means business on guitar but Neal Schon is clearly the star here. His tones and solos are incredible. The highlight is definitely a jam called "Fillmore East". They even experiment with modern dance music on some tracks. This is not Supernatural Santana, this is Woodstock Santana back in business. Let's hope this isn't the last we hear from the classic lineup.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Got my copy yesterday. Had listened to a couple of songs that were pre-released a few weeks ago, and honestly was not that impressed. Turns out they are the weakest songs on the album. Totally impressed with the rest. The early Santana sound is there, along with a a generous dose of modern. When I listened to Fillmore East, it was like I was back in the Haight-Ashbury days of the 60's. Very Impressed.
Have now listened to this one many times and it just keeps getting better.

The vinyl was of good quality, quiet, and I would say excellent except for 3 rotational clicks/pops on Side 1.
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