The album was destined to be a major release, given a headstart by the band’s seminal performance at the Woodstock Festival earlier that August. Although “Jingo” was not very successful (only reaching #56), “Evil Ways”, the second single taken from the album, was a U.S. Top 10 hit. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 pop album chart and #26 on the UK Albums Chart. It has been mixed and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.
AllMusic Review by Rovi Staff
Before the arrival of Carlos Santana’s eponymous band, the San Francisco rock scene drew the inspiration for its jam-oriented music mainly from blues, rock, and Eastern modalities. Santana added Latin music to the mix, forever changing the course of rock & roll history. On their groundbreaking debut album, the group mix Latin percussion with driving rock grooves. Santana’s unique guitar style, alternately biting and liquid, vies with the multiple percussionists for the sonic focus.
Unlike later efforts, Santana’s first album features an abundance of loose, collective compositions based on a couple of simple riffs (“Jingo,” “Soul Sacrifice”). This approach allows for Santana and his bandmates to flex their improvisational muscles to fine effect. The high-energy level on Santana is infectious — the laid-back feel of other ’60s San Francisco groups was clearly not for Carlos and co.
2. Evil Ways
3. Shades of Time
3. You Just Don’t Care
4. Soul Sacrifice