14 Songs, 1 Hour 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When a party has a guest list that’s as long as the one for Supernatural, there’s a risk the host will get lost in the crowd. Yet even with Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas, and Dave Matthews on hand, there’s never a doubt about who’s at the centre of the action. With his fluid playing style on full display, Carlos Santana is the most exciting thing about the blockbuster comeback that sold more than 15 million copies, swept the GRAMMYⓇs, and introduced the 1960s guitar hero to a new generation.

This success story established a music-biz strategy of reviving the careers of veteran artists by pairing them with modern hitmakers. But Supernatural was more than just the result of a supportive set of collaborators. The process began in 1997 when Carlos Santana reteamed with Arista head Clive Davis, the label boss who initially shepherded the genre-busting band to fame in the Woodstock era. Though the guests all bring individual flair, they never overshadow the guitarist or his band. Instead, they enhance the fiery energy and sultry grooves that were always key to the Santana sound.

That’s as true of Thomas’ suave vocal performance on the salsa-pop smash “Smooth” as it is of Hill and CeeLo Green’s contributions to “Do You Like the Way,” one of several songs that incorporate hip-hop into Santana’s fusion of Latin rhythms, rock pyrotechnics, and blues fundamentals. And while there are more terrific guest-star turns by Matthews on “Love of My Life,” Everlast on “Put Your Lights On,” and Clapton on “The Calling,” Supernatural’s most exuberant moments arrive with “(Da Le) Yaleo” and “Migra,” jammier songs that capture Santana and his band in full flight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When a party has a guest list that’s as long as the one for Supernatural, there’s a risk the host will get lost in the crowd. Yet even with Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas, and Dave Matthews on hand, there’s never a doubt about who’s at the centre of the action. With his fluid playing style on full display, Carlos Santana is the most exciting thing about the blockbuster comeback that sold more than 15 million copies, swept the GRAMMYⓇs, and introduced the 1960s guitar hero to a new generation.

This success story established a music-biz strategy of reviving the careers of veteran artists by pairing them with modern hitmakers. But Supernatural was more than just the result of a supportive set of collaborators. The process began in 1997 when Carlos Santana reteamed with Arista head Clive Davis, the label boss who initially shepherded the genre-busting band to fame in the Woodstock era. Though the guests all bring individual flair, they never overshadow the guitarist or his band. Instead, they enhance the fiery energy and sultry grooves that were always key to the Santana sound.

That’s as true of Thomas’ suave vocal performance on the salsa-pop smash “Smooth” as it is of Hill and CeeLo Green’s contributions to “Do You Like the Way,” one of several songs that incorporate hip-hop into Santana’s fusion of Latin rhythms, rock pyrotechnics, and blues fundamentals. And while there are more terrific guest-star turns by Matthews on “Love of My Life,” Everlast on “Put Your Lights On,” and Clapton on “The Calling,” Supernatural’s most exuberant moments arrive with “(Da Le) Yaleo” and “Migra,” jammier songs that capture Santana and his band in full flight.

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