Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Carlos Santana

Whenever I put on music to either get my creativity flowing for writing or game or just just mind in the right spot, I usually have themes. Typically this is things like metal or Iron Maiden for D&D. Classic rock or newer hiphop for modern supernatural games.  70s hard rock for other games and so on.

But one performer/band comes through for me for nearly everything.  That is Carlos Santana.

Santana, either as a solo act, part of the Santana Brothers or with his band Santana, always has such a sound.  Yeah it is latin, but it also classic rock and 80s and new millennium ... well for a lack of better word, groove.   Listening to Santana is like driving at night, the world is familiar, but also very, very different.  Santana has had nearly 50 year career, I am going to focus on the songs that most people know...and the ones that have videoes of course.

Let's get into it!

"Evil Ways" was one of Santana's earliest hits. From his self titled album Santana, it's about what all good Santana songs are about, a woman.   Here is his career making turn at Woodstock.

Abraxas, Santana's 2nd album, might be one of the best albums ever recorded.  Certainly in my own top 25.  If I want to write about magic and just get into the right mood then I put on Abraxas. This album gave us the hits "Black Magic Woman" and one of my favorites "Oye Como Va".

The  bulk of his 70s catalog is very jazz-inspired and cool, but not what I need when I want a little darkness.   The next album of Santana's I really enjoyed was the double album Moonflower.  In truth this is where I first heard Black Magic Woman as a live song.  But the stand out song for me was a cover of an old Zombies song "She's Not There". Again, Santana is at his best when playing or singing about a woman.

Shangó is another one of those career changing albums for Santana. I listened to this album so many times in Jr. High.  In fact it was playing around the exact time I was first playing D&D.   "Hold On" is another song about a woman, but also about a particular time and place.  This song always reminds me that "Now" will never happen again.

Supernatural became Santana's next biggest album and one of the biggest of his career. It was also one of the albums I had playing on constant rotation while working on the d20 version of the my Witch book and then later Buffy and Angel.   "Smooth" was just one of those songs that pulls you right in.  Plus it features a then somewhat unknown actress Rosario Dawson.

"Put Your Lights On" written by and featuring Everlast was actually the first song I heard from the album.  I was a big fan of House of Pain in college so this was a nice a little treat.

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