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Charted: October 10, 1970

Rating: 4.5000 (average of 8 ratings)

Genre: Latin-influenced guitar rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  2. Black Magic Woman/ Gypsy Queen
  3. Oye Como Va
  4. Incident at Neshabur
  5. Se a Cabo
  6. Mother’s Daughter
  7. Samba Pa Ti
  8. Hope You’re Feeling Better
  9. El Nicoya

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 5.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 11.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 6
peak on U.K. album chart 7

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Black Magic Woman (11/14/70) #4 US, #29 AC
  • Oye Como Va (2/20/71) #13 US, #32 RB, #11 AC
  • Samba Pa Ti (9/28/74) #27 UK

Notes: “In 1998 Sony published a remastered version, which included three previously unreleased live tracks: ‘Se A Cabo’, ‘Toussaint L’Ouverture’ and ‘Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen’, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in April 18, 1970.” WK


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time.

After a successful gig at Woodstock and a top 5 Billboard album in 1969, the Latin rock group Santana, led by guitarist Carlos Santana, released Abraxas, their second studio album in 1970. The chart-topping album “defined Santana’s early sound, and showed a musical maturation from their first album.” WK

“Often considered Santana’s greatest album, it drew widespread acclaim for its mixture of Latin influences with familiar rock themes such as overdriven electric guitar, organ and heavy drums.” WK “In the mid-‘90s, an album as eclectic as Abraxas would be considered a marketing exec’s worst nightmare. But at the dawn of the 1970s, this unorthodox mix of rock, jazz, salsa, and blues” AH tied “together in one pancultural package” BA “proved quite successful.” AH

“The San Francisco Bay Area rock scene of the late ‘60s was one that encouraged radical experimentation and discouraged the type of mindless conformity that’s often plagued corporate rock. When one considers just how different Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and the Grateful Dead sounded, it becomes obvious just how much it was encouraged.” AH

“To wit: two hit singles that emanated from opposite ends of the spectrum.” BA On one hand, the band are “tackling moody blues-rock on Black Magic Woman,” AH “originally written and recorded by English blues-rock guitarist Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac.” BA Elsewhere the group also take on “New York Latin percussionist/dance music king Tito Puente’s infectious Oye Como Va.” BA

Santana also embrace “instrumental jazz-rock” AH with the instrumentals Samba Pa Ti, “a classic slow-burning, seductive piece,” WK and Incident at Neshabur. “The latter has several rhythm and time signature changes consistent with its jazz feel. Latin percussion — congas, bongos and timbales, as well as a conventional rock drum setup, make this Santana's first foray into true Latin rhythm.” WK

Abraxas also featured such standout tracks as Gypsy Queen and Singing Winds, Crying Beasts. The latter underscored the growing Eastern sensibilities of guitarist Santana.” BA

“The title of the album comes from a line from Herman Hesse’s book Demian: ‘We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it: We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas.’” WK

“Many of the Santana albums that came out in the '70s are worth acquiring, but for novices, Abraxas is an excellent place to start.” AH

Review Source(s):

Black Magic Woman (video)

Oye Como Va (video)

Samba Pa Ti (video)

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Last updated July 20, 2010.