Don’t confuse the Best Of title with Greatest Hits, as this ten-song Santana collection focuses wholly on the band’s late 1960’s output, with just three songs that were never laid down for a proper studio recording. The biggest hits — “Black Magic Woman,” “Evil Ways,” “Oye Como Va,” “Winning,” etc., — are absent, but this Platinum still shines brightly and provides welcome insight into the pre-LP and pre-hit years of Santana. Far from just a band in search of a sound, these ten tracks demonstrate convincingly that guitarist/songwriter Carlos Santana and mates were forerunners of fusing world music beats with rock and jazz. This heady set includes early favorites “Jingo” and the stunning “Soul Sacrifice,” which would soon become a signature live number. But it’s the lesser-known songs that make this Best Of the best: the kaleidoscopic colors of “La Puesta Del Sol” and the trance-like rhythms of “El Corazon Manda” pump insistent energy as Santana unleashes flurries of lead notes and chunky chords across a psychedelic canvas. The band’s gut-wrenching cover of Otis Rush’s “As The Years Go By” shows they could play the blues with Chicago’s best, but the Windy City never felt sweet Latin American and African breezes like “Latin Tropical” and “Let’s Get Ourselves Together.” The ending “Jam In E” is an explosive burst of guitar, organ and drums, played with the searing intensity that mesmerized early audiences, and sounds just as groundbreaking more than forty years on.
Source: LimeWire Music Blog