Santana's best CD from the eighties
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 07/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"MOSTLY UNISPIRED INSTRUMENTALS.
THIS REALLY ISN'T A CARLOS SANTANA SOLO ALBUM. IT IS A SANTANA BAND GROUP EFFORT (EXCEPT FOR 2 TRACKS).
Released in 1987, this is a collection of odds and ends. There are alternate takes, live tracks and a few tracks of Santana fooling around. It is 44 minutes long and the sound quality is very good.
I don't konw why this is listed as a Carlos Santana solo CD. All but 2 tracks were performed by the "Santana" band during that time. And the remaining 2 tracks were performed by about the half the group.
The 1980's was not the best decade for Santana. His studio albums had a stripped down sound that conformed to the tastes of the time. His music was more pop oriented. There is nothing wrong with that, except that many of the songs were not very good. But, he continued to be very good in concert.
The music on this album, has the same feel as the rest of Santana's 1980's output, only it is better than most. This is partly because some of the tracks are live. Other tracks are studio reproductions of jams they did in concert.
Much of the music reflects the sound of the eighties. There is the sharp drum notes that were popularized by Dire Straits on Money For Nothing. It was the beginning of digital recording and people were playing around with sonic improvements and wider dynamic ranges. There is also the annoying synthesizer sound that populated much of the New Wave and Disco music. I like synthesizers, but they were poorly used in the eighties.
Two of the tracks on this CD are alternate takes of done during the recording sessions from Freedom and Zebop! The version of Deeper, Dig Deeper here is much better than what was on Freedom. Here it is an instrumental with some manic and funky guitar work from Santana.
The best track on this album is Mingus, which has some interesting synthesizer work from Chester Thompson. Unforntunately, it is less than 2 minutes long.
There is nothing bad on this album (unlike the rest of the Santana albums from the eighties), but most of the music is bland. On the Santana albums from the eighties, I have been pulling off the 2 to 4 good tracks and have been getting rid of the CD's. With Blues For Salvador, I will keep the whole CD. But, if I were ever to lose this CD, I probably would not bother to replace it.
I don't think Santana fully recovered from Festival (1977) until 1990, with Spirits Dancing in the Dark.