The Epic 2017 Project #283: 171010
Santana – Supernatural (1999)
Santana’s 17th studio album was released in June 1999. It went on to win eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year as well as three Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.
The album, conceived by Clive Davis and A&R’d by Pete Ganbarg, was a major global hit, eventually selling more than 30 million copies.It is the most successful album by Santana, hitting the number one spot in ten countries, including the United States. It is also the highest-selling album of original material released by any artist who had already been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prior to its release and second highest-selling overall behind The Beatles compilation album 1.
The album included two major hit singles. “Smooth”, which featured Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas on vocals, was the first. And the follow-up, “Maria Maria” (which featured The Product G&B), reached the No.1 slot in several countries. Santana and Rob Thomas won three Grammy Awards for their collaboration on the song “Smooth” while Santana and Everlast won another for the song “Put Your Lights On”. Santana also won a Grammy for “Maria Maria”. Carlos Santana became the first Hispanic to win the Record of the Year Grammy Award, while the Album of the Year Grammy Award was bestowed upon Clive Davis.
Among the other guest artists are Eric Clapton, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Maná, KC Porter and Cee-Lo Green.
The Epic 2017 Project #282: 171009
Santana – Moonflower (1977)
Moonflower is a studio and live double album by Santana, released in 1977. The recording features both studio and live tracks, which are interspersed with one another throughout the album. It is perhaps the group’s most popular live album, because Lotus did not receive a U.S. domestic release until the early 1990s. It displays a mix between the fusion of Latin and blues-rock styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the much more experimental and spiritual jazz fusion sound that characterized the band’s mid-1970s work. The live material was recorded during the supporting tour for the Festival album, which displayed a similar mix of styles, and many of the album’s songs are featured here – namely, the three song medley which opens Festival.
A cover version of the Zombies’ mid-1960s hit song “She’s Not There” was released as a single. The song was the first Santana recording to hit the Top 40 of the Billboard charts since “No One to Depend On” reached No.36 in 1972. The album reached No.10 on the Billboard charts and was eventually certified platinum, neither of which occurred again until the star-studded Supernatural in 1999 (See Epic 283 on Jemtunes tomorrow).
The Epic 2017 Project #281: 171008
Santana – Abraxas (1970)
The playlist at a gig we went to in Brighton last night included Santana’s version of ‘Black Magic Woman’. Rather excellent timing as I’d already scheduled ‘Abraxas’ for an airing in the Epic 2017 series. So here it is.
Abraxas was Santana’s second studio album. Building upon the interest generated by their self-titled first album released in August 1969 and their highly acclaimed live performance at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969, the band released Abraxas in September 1970. The album’s mix of rock, blues, jazz, salsa, and other influences was very well received, showing a musical maturation from their first album and refining the band’s early sound.
In 2016, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.
Black Magic Woman was written by Peter Green from the early Fleetwood Mac line-up. So here’s a vid of two 70-year olds performing it. Rather stunning stuff. Partly because it shows Mr Green back on form after the recluse years and partly because it shows that Mr Santana has never lost it! Enjoy.
The Epic Project 2017 #280: 170107
Saint Jude – Diary of a soul fiend (2010)
Saint Jude were an English, London-based rock and soul band, fronted by the vocalist Lynne Jackaman. Formed in 2008, their debut (and only) album ‘Diary of a Soul Fiend’, was released in September 2010.
On 11 December 2011, they were named Classic Rock magazine’s “Gig of the Week.” They played the Germany Rockpalast venue (which was later broadcast on WDR), Rhythm Festival, Off The Tracks Festival, Cornbury Festival, High Voltage Festival, the UK leg of Sonisphere Festival, and completed a mini tour of the UK in December, finishing with a headline slot at London’s Scala venue.They were also nominated Best New Band at the 2011 Classic Rock Roll Of Honour.
The band folded in 2014. There was an EP follow up to the debut – ‘Ladies & Gents’ in 2013. But sadly things didn’t last long enough for anything else.
The Epic 2017 Project #279: 171006
Sade = Diamond Life (1984)
Diamond Life was Sade Adu’s (better known by just her Christian name) debut studio album, released in the UK on 16 July 1984 by Epic Records.
After studying fashion design, and later modelling, Sade Adu began backup singing with British band Pride. During this time Adu and three of the original members of “Pride” – Paul Anthony Cook, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman – left the group to form their own band called Sade. Following various demos and performances, Sade received interest from record labels and later signed to Epic.
Recording for the album began in 1983 at The Power Plant in London and took a total of six weeks to complete. The album’s content was written by the group Sade whilst the production was handled by Robin Millar. A total of fifteen songs were recorded for the album with the use of live instruments that used sonically experimental material. The album contained a variety of musical elements including soul, jazz and sophisti-pop, with lyrics revolving mainly around themes of love.
Upon release, Diamond Life was met with acclaim from music critics and went on to win the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985. Commercially the album was a success charting highly in the UK and US, and was later certified multi platinum in both regions. Diamond Life went on to sell over six million copies worldwide, becoming one of the top-selling debut recordings of the ’80s and the best-selling debut by a British female vocalist, until Welsh singer Duffy released her debut studio album, Rockferry in 2008. The album spawned four singles including the hit singles “Your Love Is King” and “Smooth Operator”.
The Epic 2017 Project #278: 171005
Sad Cafe – Facades (1979)
Sad Café formed in Manchester in 1976 and achieved their peak of popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for the UK Top 40 singles “Every Day Hurts”, “Strange Little Girl”, “My Oh My” and “I’m in Love Again”, the first of which was their biggest hit, reaching number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979. The band also had two US Billboard Hot 100 hits with “Run Home Girl” and “La-Di-Da”. Frontman Paul Young went on to achieve greater chart success as the co-lead singer (with Paul Carrack) of Mike + The Mechanics
Facades was their third studio album released in 1979.
The Epic 2017 Project #277: 171004
Sad Cafe – Misplaced Ideal (1978)
One of the things about having a passion for music are the little unexpected things that happen from time to time. Like the banning of an album sleeve. It doesn’t happen very often these days but when it does, it tends to make the original suddenly quite collectible; and valuable!
When I got Sad Cafe’s ‘Misplaced Ideals’ in 1978, a couple of days after its release and primarily because we’d seen them play the week before, this was what the album cover looked like…
…but two weeks later, the original was banned, withdrawn from stock and replaced with this (rather blander) version. Reason? Because the stretched face version was considered too grotesque and risqué for the time! The blander version stayed and became the cover for the Stateside release a year later.
The result though was that the album I would have purchased anyway, did (and still have) became instantly collectible and, after just a little while, quite valuable. Conservative estimate now – some 40 years later – £300! Not too shabby!