Abraxas (album)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Abraxas is the second studio album by Santana, the Latin rock n' roll group led by guitarist Carlos Santana. Consolidating their live success at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and the interest generated by their first album the band took some time to issue a follow-up. Released in September 1970, the album's mix of rock, blues, jazz, salsa and other influences made it a classic that defined Santana's early sound, and showed a musical maturation from their first album.

Often considered Santana's greatest album, it drew widespread acclaim for its mixture of Latin influences with familiar rock themes such as overdriven electric guitar, organ and heavy drums. The album also demonstrates Santana's stylistic versatility, including tracks such as "Samba Pa Ti" (a classic slow-burning, seductive piece) and "Incident at Neshabur", both being instrumentals. The latter has several rhythm and time signature changes consistent with its jazz feel. Latin percussion — congas, bongos and timbales, as well as a conventional rock drum setup, make this Santana's first foray into true Latin rhythm. In 2003, the album was ranked number 205 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album achieved number 7 in the UK album charts.

The title of the album comes from a line from Herman Hesse's book Demian:

"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..."

The name Abraxas is originally taken from Gnostic cosmology.

In 1998 Sony published a remastered version, which included three previously unreleased live tracks: "Se A Cabo", "Toussaint L'Ouverture" and "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in April 18, 1970.

In 1998 SME records in Japan, part of Sony Music, also released the remastered version as an SACD. This disc is stereo only, and furthermore, it is a single layer SACD, which means that ordinary CD players will not play it. This disc contains the same bonus tracks as the ordinary 1998 remastered CD.

In 2008 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab released a remastered version on their Ultradisc II (24K) Gold CD & LP.

The album's cover features the 1961 painting Annunciation, by Mati Klarwein.


Track listing

| headline = 1998 remastered edition | writing_credits = yes | title1 = Singing Winds, Crying Beasts | note1 = | writer1 = Carabello | length1 = 4:51

| title2 = Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen | note2 = | writer2 = Green/Szabo | length2 = 5:19

| title3 = Oye Como Va | note3 = | writer3 = Puente | length3 = 4:17

| title4 = Incident at Neshabur | note4 = | writer4 = Gianquinto, Santana | length4 = 4:57

| title5 = Se a Cabo | note5 = | writer5 = Areas | length5 = 2:51

| title6 = Mother's Daughter | note6 = | writer6 = Rolie | length6 = 4:26

| title7 = Samba Pa Ti | note7 = | writer7 = Santana | length7 = 4:45

| title8 = Hope You're Feeling Better | note8 = | writer8 = Rolie | length8 = 4:11

| title9 = El Nicoya | note9 = | writer9 = Areas | length9 = 1:29 | title10 = Se a Cabo (Live) | note10 = 1998 Edition | writer10 = | length10 = 3:47

| title11 = Toussaint L'Ouverture (Live) | note11 = 1998 Edition | writer11 = | length11 = 4:52

| title12 = Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Live) | note12 = 1998 Edition | writer12 = | length12 = 4:57 }}

Track information

"Samba Pa Ti"

"Samba Pa Ti" translated into English means "Samba for You".

This instrumental was covered by José Feliciano, who added lyrics. It is also one of the tracks featured in Nick Hornby's book 31 Songs. It was used in the UK as the background music for TV ads for Marks and Spencer food in 2006. It was also featured as the ending song in the Cold Case episode "Dead Heat", which aired November 8th, 2009.

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard 200 1
1971 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1


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


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Abraxas (album)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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