Friday, 11 October 2019

Santana - Soul Sacrifice (1968)

When I discovered a double CD collection of 1968 demos from Santana I was surprised that I had never heard of it before, as I love the band and thought I'd heard just about everything that they'd recorded. The music itself is just what you would expect - raw, extended versions of some songs from their first album, long jam sessions, and a few covers, and all in excellent quality, but trying to track down any information about them was fraught with difficulties. It turns out that these tracks have been packaged and re-packaged many, many times, by many different labels and in many different forms, and every release has different information about them. Some claim they are all recorded in 1968, immediately before Santana signed to CBS in 1969. Other sources say that some of the tracks were from Neal Schon's audition, which would date them as 1970, and 'Jam In E' does sound like someone trying to impress with their guitar virtuosity. There are some that try to date a few of the recordings to Pacific Recording Studios, San Mateo, California in 1969, and then there are those 'experts' who claim that some of these tracks aren't even Santana at all, but a soundalike band who were signed up after Santana's first album was a hit, and were persuaded to record tracks with a similar sound in 1969. In the end I gave up trying to work out when they were recorded as the information was just so conflicting, and decided to just pick out the best of them and try to compile them into a more listenable form. Some of the jams went on for up to 10 minutes, while the shorter songs were generally more concise and focused, so for this album I've taken the extended demos of the four tracks that eventually ended up on 1969's 'Santana', and added a nice take on a blues classic and a few other previously unheard instrumentals, to make up an album which could have easily been released in 1968, a full year before their actual debut came out. Later on I'll be posting a second volume made up of the best of the longer tracks, but for now enjoy some great music from an emerging Santana. If anyone has a definitive explanation of where these recordings came from then I'd love to hear it.  

Track listing

01 Evil Ways
02 Acapulco Sunrise
03 Everyday I Have The Blues
04 Persuasion
05 Coconut Grove
06 Jingo
07 As The Years Go By
08 Soul Sacrifice

Enjoy / Enjoy

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