Abraxas (album)

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Studio album from Santana


September 1970

Label (s) Columbia Records

Format (s)


Genre (s)

Latin rock

Title (number)

9 (12)

running time

37:18 (51:15)

  • Mike Carabello: Conga

  • Alberto Gianquinto: Piano on Incident at Neshabur


Fred Catero and Santana

Studio (s)

Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco

Abraxas Santana III

Abraxas is the second music album by the Latin rock group Santana . After its release in September 1970, the album, which features a mix of salsa , blues , rock , jazz and other influences, became a classic that defined Santana's early sound.

Album title and cover

The picture shows an excerpt from the painting Annonciation by Mati Klarwein from 1962. The album title was influenced by Hermann Hesse's novel Demian . On the back of the record sleeve there is an English-language excerpt from this work:

“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… ”

- Extract on the back cover

“I stood in front of it and felt cold to my chest from the strain. I asked the picture, I accused it, I caressed it, I prayed to it; I called it mother, I called it lover, called it whore and whore, called it Abraxas. "

- Excerpt from Demian, Hermann Hesse


Abraxas is often referred to as Santana's best album. Due to its mix of Latin , rock and jazz elements (congas, distorted guitar or Hammond organ ), the album was very well received. Santana showed his versatility with ballads like Incident at Neshabur and Samba pa Ti . The record reached number 1 on the US album charts and stayed in the hit list for 88 weeks. In the year of its release, the album received a gold record . On November 21, 1986, Abraxas was awarded platinum for the fourth time in the United States .


In 2003 the album reached number 205 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 best albums of all time . In the same year, it was number 85 on VH1's list of the greatest albums of all time .

The second single Black Magic Woman , a cover version of the English group Fleetwood Mac , reached in 1971 4th place in January of the Billboard Hot 100 - charts in the US. The singer is Santana's keyboardist Gregg Rolie . The released piece Oye Como Va was also a world hit .

Nick Hornby dedicates a separate chapter to Samba pa Ti in his book 31 Songs .

Track list

page 1

  1. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts (M. Carabello) - 4:48
  2. Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen ( P. Green / G. Szabó ) - 5:24
  3. Oye Como Va ( T. Puente ) - 4:19
  4. Incident at Neshabur (A. Gianquinto / C. Santana) - 5:02

Page 2

  1. Se a Cabo (J. Areas) - 2:51
  2. Mother's Daughter (G. Rolie) - 4:28
  3. Samba pa Ti (C. Santana) - 4:47
  4. Hope You're Feeling Better (G. Rolie) - 4:07
  5. El Nicoya (J. Areas) - 1:32


In 1998 Sony released a remastered version containing three previously unreleased live recordings, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on April 18, 1970:

  1. Se a Cabo (J. Areas) - 3:47
  2. Toussaint L'Overture (C. Santana / G. Rolie / J. Areas / D. Brown / M. Carabello / M. Shrieve) - 4:52
  3. Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen (P. Green / G. Szabo) - 1:32

Single releases

  • 1970: Black Magic Woman
  • 1971: Oye Como Va
  • 1971: Hope You're Feeling Better

Song info

  • Black Magic Woman is a cover version of Fleetwood Mac . The band released the song in 1968. Santana's version was also supplemented by a 1 min 44 s long instrumental by Gábor Szabó called Gypsy Queen . Although it is a cover, the version by Santana is the most famous. The song became a huge hit, peaking at # 4 on the US singles chart.
  • Oye Como Va is another cover. The original song was written by Tito Puente . This song was also released as a single and reached # 18 in the US charts.

Sales figures and awards

Country / Region Award Sales
Awards for music sales
(country / region, Award, Sales)
France (SNEP) France (SNEP) Platinum record icon.svg platinum 300,000
Canada (MC) Canada (MC) Platinum record icon.svg 3 × platinum 300,000
United States (RIAA) United States (RIAA) Platinum record icon.svg 5 × platinum 5,000,000
United Kingdom (BPI) United Kingdom (BPI) Gold record icon.svg gold 100,000
All in all Gold record icon.svg1 × gold
Platinum record icon.svg9 × platinum

Main article: Carlos Santana / Music Sales Awards

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hermann Hesse: Demian , Suhrkamp 1975; P. 117
  2. http://www.superseventies.com/spsantana2.html
  3. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4595
  4. https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/santana/bio/