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SANTANA The Early Years - An Anthology
Red Line/Cherry Red REDLINE27 (2006)

Before we get to the anally retentive Latino stuff, Santana actually produced some decent material in his early years.

This collection covers the earliest incarnations of his band, before the recording of their first album (so we get early versions of many later better known songs).

Over 2 discs we get 18 studio tracks, a remix and a live take on 'Evil Ways' from 1968.

There's the Latin influence with blues and soul. Much overlap with what War were doing in the early 70s. Also heavy on the Organ in places, adding both a rock and prog feel. Some of the material also features guitarist Neil Schon who went on to fame and fortune with Journey.

The album does have it's moments, and will be essential for even the remotest Santana fan, although sadly the booklet is extremely light.


Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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