Heavily influenced by Latin music, Santana learned violin and guitar when he was eight. After 1965, he took up music as a full-time vocation. He witnessed the hippie moment that spurred up in the 60s in San Francisco and performed as part of an impromptu band for the famous musician, Paul Butterfield. In the same year he formed the rock band after his surname while collaborating with fellow musicians Gregg Rolie and David Brown.
The band blended their native tunes and African rhythms with the elements from rock, jazz and salsa to create an ingenious sound. The group hit the clubs and became popular in the local music scene. Their performance at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival got them raving response from the audiences and they landed a record deal with the Columbia Records. In the same year, they released their first self-titled record that peaked at four on the Billboard charts and spawned the top ten single, Evil Ways.
Peak of Success
The band released their second album Abraxas in 1970 that topped the Billboard chart and turned out to be an international success. It went Multi-Platinum in the US and Canada. The next album, Santana III, was launched in 1971 with some lineup changes. It clinched the top position on the music charts and was certified as Double-Platinum. The following records Caravanserai, Welcome and Borboletta hit the foreign charts and earned the group commercial success and critical praise.
Santana embarked on a solo career with the release of his 1973 album, Love Devotion Surrender. Besides fronting the band, he also directed his solo career to the heights of success. A streak of successful records were released in the following years which established Santana and his band as a groundbreaking musical force. The amazing 70s’ decade came to a close with their Gold album Marathon.
80s and Career Revival
Santana kept on releasing solo as well as band albums in the 80s. Towards the end of the decade, their career experienced a downfall and album sales also declined but this didn’t affect either of the members. After releasing Milagro in 1992, the band became inactive. Santana came up with a solo album in 1994 that was a moderate success. 1999 marked a radical shift in the band’s sound as well as in their recording career. Supernatural topped all the international music charts and went Multi-Platinum in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
A variety of live concerts in the States and abroad made the band one of the most popular headlining acts of the year. Santana tickets sales hit the roof and attracted thousands of fans to their shows. The subsequent album Shaman also received widespread acclaim for its fresh sound and was eventually certified as Double Platinum in the US. The following albums, All That I am and Guitar Heaven maintained the past success record of the band.
Santana’s latest album Shape Shifter came out in May 2012 and reached at sixteen on the Billboard 200 chart. Most of the album’s songs are instrumental pieces that he produced while collaborating with other musicians. Currently on his 2013 tour, Santana is performing at the House of Blues, Las Vegas and this run is expected to last till February 2014. Experience the versatility of Santana’s music and enjoy his heartwarming live performances.