Photo: Kevin Winter/WireImage
Santana, 'Abraxas': For The Record
After their success at the summer rock festival Woodstock in Aug. 1969 and the contemporary release of their debut self-titled album, guitarist Carlos Santana and his band Santana put out their follow-up, Abraxas, in Sept. 1970. His lead guitar and the album's eclectic combination of rock, Latin rhythms and experimental creativity captured the spirit of the times, filled with a sense of potential new experiences.
By Oct. 1970, Abraxas reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. On the Hot 100 in early 1971, its single "Black Magic Woman" peaked at No. 4, and "Oye Como Va" reached No. 13 a few months later — reinterpreting the Tito Puente cha-cha as rock and helping to prove the flourishing genre's ability to bring new relevance to compositions from other musical traditions.
A San Francisco Bay local, Carlos Santana got his break from Fillmore promoter Bill Graham. An origin myth Santana doesn't remember the same way has Graham discovering the youngster after he snuck into the venue's office. "I was a kid right out of high school and nobody else was putting on shows like Bill did then," he remembered, explaining why he was always around.
As locals, they could fill in for missing bands on the schedule in a flash. Graham wrote in his autobiography, "To this day, Santana is still the only band ever to headline the Fillmore without having made a record."
Thanks to their excellence and reflecting the cultural moment, happenstance became legend. The band's second album was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2016. Shortly before the close of the millennium, Abraxas was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, in 1999 — the year Carlos Santana's album Supernatural was released, taking him to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the third time, from a career-total of four times so far. At the 42nd GRAMMY Awards, he won in eight categories, including Album Of The Year and Best Rock Album.