Monday, October 06, 2008

Santana to release Multi Dimensional Warrior on October 14th


Title arrives in stores October 14th of Columbia/Legacy

A decade after their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (in January 1998), the hypnotic power of Santana – to mesmerize crowds of tens of thousands in the world’s biggest stadiums, or to cast the same spell on a single listener in their solitude – continues to be one of the enduring and mysterious pleasures of the band’s music. That meditative power has coursed through Santana’s recordings for four decades, but has never been the exclusive focus of any one collection – until now.

Multi Dimensional Warrior is a unique project, with every track personally selected and sequenced by Carlos Santana to create an engaging journey through a soundscape of moods and feelings. In an unprecedented concept, disc one comprises 14 vocal performances chosen from albums spanning the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, while disc two comprises 14 instrumental performances from albums covering the same years. Multi Dimensional Warrior is the first anthology to include tracks from the band’s three major label associations: Columbia, Polydor/ PolyGram, and Arista/BMG. With just three exceptions, all of the albums represented on disc one are different than the albums represented on disc two. Carlos Santana supervised new overdubs to five tracks on the set. He personally added guitar to “Spirit” and “Right Now,” Santana band member Chester Thompson contributed piano to “Let There Be Light,” and Barbara Higbie added harp to “Praise” and “Let There Be Light.”

Multi Dimensional Warrior will arrive in stores October 14th on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAIN­MENT.

History swirls around Santana, signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis in late-1968. They began recording in January 1969 – although the follow-up sessions of May 1969 were the ones eventually used for their debut album. That self-titled release came out on August 19, 1969, the day after the end of the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, where they performed on Saturday afternoon. WARRIOR includes one of their oldest signatures, “Samba Pa Ti,” the B-side of their fourth single, “Oye Como Va,” from the second Santana album, Abraxas (1970).

At the far end of the Columbia timeline are the final three albums to bear the Santana name – and the only three albums on WARRIOR to be represented by one track each on disc one and disc two. Early 1987’s Freedom – which reunited original band members Gregg Rolie on lead vocals and keyboards (after his 1975-85 founding stint in Journey), drummer Mike Shrieve, and percussionist José ‘Chepito’ Areas – is the source for “Praise” and two instrumentals, “Bella” and “Love Is You.”

At the end of 1987, Carlos Santana delivered Blues For Salvador, his final Columbia solo album, which won his first GRAMMY Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. WARRIOR includes the closing title instrumental, as well as the opening vocal medley of “Bailando/Aquatic Park.” A long hiatus ensued before Santana released its final Columbia studio album in 1990, Spirits Dancing In The Flesh. That album’s opening track, “Let There Be Light,” featuring lead singer Alex Ligertwood (Santana’s longest-running vocalist, from 1979 to 1995), is the appropriate opening track of WARRIOR. An instrumental track from Spirits, “Full Moon” appears on disc two.

Santana’s two decades at Columbia Records encompassed some 25 studio and live album releases, comprising band albums and solo projects by Carlos Santana. On the vocal side, WARRIOR also revisits Festival (1976, with “The River”); Moonflower (1977, with “I’ll Be Waiting”); and Beyond Appearances (1985, with “Brotherhood,” “Spirit,” “Right Now”). On the instrumental side, WARRIOR includes tracks from Marathon (1979, “Aqua Marine”) and Zebop! (1981, “I Love You Much Too Much”).

Santana had a brief but productive three-year stay at PolyGram, starting with the May 1992 release of Milagro (which means “miracle”). The album was dedicated to two close friends, Miles Davis and long-time Santana manager and booking agent Bill Graham (who died respectively in September and October, 1991) and contained tributes to four of Santana’s inspirations, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Marvin Gaye, and Bob Marley. From that album, WARRIOR offers four vocals on disc one: “Life Is For Living,” “Saja/Right On,” and two Santana originals, “Somewhere In Heaven” and “Your Touch.”

Milagro was also the name given to an important charitable foundation created by Deborah and Carlos Santana, who believe that children are divine miracles of light and hope for the world. With funds generated by concert tickets, donations and generous individual and corporate donors, the Milagro Foundation makes grants to tax-exempt organizations that work with children and youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, the United States and countries around the world touched by the music of Santana. The Milagro Foundation can be reached at PO Box 9125, San Rafael, CA 94912-9125.

Attention focused on the Milagro album as Santana toured through 1992 and mourned the April ’93 death of César Chavez. Later that year, Sacred Fire, a live album was released. Santana returned in 1994 with a final PolyGram album, Brothers, essentially a trio collaboration by Carlos, his brother Jorge, and nephew Carlos Hernandez. Three of its instrumentals are included on WARRIOR: “Blues Latino,” “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor,” and “Luz, Amor y Vida.”

A five-year hiatus from recording followed, ending in 1999 with the release of Supernatural. It was Santana’s first album for Arista Records, and a welcome reunion with Clive Davis, who produced the album with Carlos. Supernatural was an industry phenomenon – 15-times RIAA platinum in the U.S. alone, the #6 best-selling album in Soundscan history, with nearly double that number of sales worldwide. The album spent 102 weeks on the Billboard chart including 12 weeks at #1.

Most signifi­cantly, Supernatural generated an all-time record-breaking nine GRAMMY awards including Album Of the Year and Best Rock Album. Among the instrumentals on Supernatural (and included on WARRIOR) is “El Farol,” which won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental. (“El Farol” was also the B-side of the worldwide smash hit single and triple-GRAMMY Award winner “Smooth,” co-written by and feat­ur­ing Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty).

Supernatural was a hard act to follow – but 2002’s Shaman gave Santana a second consecutive #1 multi-platinum album. The album’s title alluded to traditional and primitive religious figures who are in touch with the spirit world, an atmosphere that is conjured up with “Victory Is Won,” the closing track on disc two of Multi Dimensional Warrior.



Blogger David Amulet said...

Clever packaging. Santana has done something nobody would have guessed in the '80s-'90s: become a marketing genius.

2:17 PM  

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