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Santana: The Woodstock Experience

Back in 1969, Santana were a fairly unknown band from San Francisco, who, along with a handful of other little known acts, signed on to appear at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair festival in Upstate New York. After their scorching daytime set, the 200,000+ people in attendance knew this band was heading for stardom, and after the release of the Woodstock film, the rest of the world were able to view the song "Soul Sacrifice" and the rest as we say is history. Santana has gone on to sell millions of albums worldwide since then, and Carlos Santana to this day remains one of the most iconic guitar players on the rock scene. SONY Legacy has released this 2CD set, titled The Woodstock Experience, which brings together the entire Woodstock set, as well as a second disc containing the debut album in remastered format. The first thing you notice after hearing these two CDs back to back is just how close the band played the songs from the album (which came out just a few weeks after the band performed at Woodstock) in their live set, which was a testament to this energetic and talented young band.

Santana's blend of Afro-Latin fire, jazz, blues, and rock set the Woodstock audience into a frenzy, and songs like "Jingo", "Waiting", and the heavy "You Just Don't Care" are filled with Latin percussion, Santana's stinging guitar licks, Gregg Rolie's swirling Hammond organ, Dave Brown's pumping bass grooves, and the nimble drum work of a 20 year old Michael Shrieve. Most of the set features vocals, as heard on strong versions of "Persuasion", "Evil Ways", as well as the already mentioned "Jingo" and "You Just Don't Care", but the band sound leaner and meaner on these live cuts, the songs heavier and more rock oriented. Instrumentally, the band was on fire, as the musical workouts on "Soul Sacrifice" and "Fried Neckbones" are simply sizzling, Carlos really ripping it up as he begins his rise to becoming a guitar hero of the 70's, and Shrieve's drum solo on "Soul Sacrifice" is still talked about to this day.

As for the debut studio album, it's a classic, plain and simple. Though it's been released in remastered form before, the inclusion of it in this package is a no brainer as this is the album the band was drawing their material from at the time of the Woodstock festival. "Evil Ways" was the hit single of the album at the time, and still is a fixture on classic rock radio here in 2009. So many of the other tracks have either stayed as staples in the Santana live set over the years or stood the test of time as legendary album cuts from a classic rock record.

Kudos to SONY Legacy on another job well done!


Track Listing
Santana-remastered
1. Waiting
2. Evil Ways
3. Shades Of Time
4. Savor
5. Jingo
6. Persuasion
7. Treat
8. You Just Don't Care
9. Soul Sacrifice
Santana-Live at Woodstock
1. Waiting
2. Evil Ways
3. You Just Don't Care
4. Savor
5. Jingo
6. Persuasion
7. Soul Sacrifice
8. Fried Neckbones

Added: July 15th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Woodstock.com
Hits: 1603
Language: english

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