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  1. Finally, I close out Santana I with my personal favorite, Soul Sacrifice. In this amazing jam piece, every member of the band lets loose. And, as a player, every instrument is set free. The song starts with percussion, drums and bongos. Then comes the classic theme, followed by a beautiful guitar solo. That solo leads into the major break in the song, where the percussion takes over. An amazing bongo solo, followed by an even better drum solo. A solo perfectly charted by AJFOne23 - thank you AJ! After the break, Carlos gets another turn, a second guitar solo. Then the guitar and
  2. For this week, also from the debut album, Persuasion is another real classic, one of the many songs on this album that led Rolling Stone to call this album one of the best albums of all time. Indeed, they put this on their top 500 album list (where it landed at #149). Of course, that was in 2012. In 1969, they weren't so enthusiastic. Their review called this album, "a masterpiece of hollow techniques ... fast, pounding, frantic music with no real content" The reviewer found the music repetitive, unimaginative, backed by a poor rhythm section, and filled with meaningless nonsense for
  3. Starting this week, I am going to turn to Santana's very early days, taking songs off their first album. First up, the wonderful classic, Jingo (or Jin-Go-Lo-Ba). Jingo was written by Babatunde Olatunji, in 1959, and released on his first album, Drums of Passion. If you are curious, you can listen to this first version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYhFyF8dvU4 Olatunji has commented that he made royalty moneys from only one song off that album, Jingo, of course. A big thanks to Santana. When I listen to Santana's take on that song, my body wants to dance. I can't help it.
  4. After another request, MrBurpler has agreed to tackle another live version of Tubular Bells. It is much more suitable to RB3, with clear guitar, bass, drums, keys, and one vocalist. It will be a while, but we will get that one out.
  5. For this Saturday, another Steppenwolf release: Sookie Sookie is the first song off their first album, and one of the three singles released off that debut. This is a fun song, and fun to play, and a song that most of you have probably heard. Not their best song, or even the best song on their first album, but I like it, and I like it in game mode. One interesting point about the song: The song changes key mid-way through. This seems to be a Steppenwolf trick. I first noticed it charting Monster, but ascribed that to the fact that Monster was really three smaller songs put togethe
  6. Time for my last song from Inner Secrets. As I mentioned before, most songs off the album were released as singles. The two biggest hits were Open Invitation, and One Chain (Don't Make No Prison) One Chain is much more disco than typical Santana, and the album version has a long percussion/bass section in the middle, with a real dance feel. The song is a People song, released in 1970. It was covered, quite successfully, by the Four Tops, a few years later, and then by Santana. I found the lyrics strange, at least as an author. I rely, quite heavily, on the various lyric sites
  7. Fuji taught me this trick: 1.Highlight the entire part of the custom that you want to save, so everything but the beginning that you are scrapping. 2. Use the Reaper function, Export Project MIDI, but, under consolidate time, change the entire project to time selection only. 3. Start a new project. 4. Put in the count-in tempo that you want, so the first three measures are correct. 5. Import that MIDI starting at 3.1. That will automatically carry over the tempo mapping from your highlighted section. 6. Restore each track from the custom by copying and pasting, from either the imported M
  8. Only two of the tracks from Inner Secrets were not released as singles. The album was quite a success, but it did contain the usual debris, two songs that were, well, duds, and not worth pushing as singles. One of these was Dealer/Spanish Rose: This is a pretty strange evaluation, because, to me, this is the best song on the album. The work combines two songs, Dealer, a minor Traffic hit from 1967, and Spanish Rose, an instrumental written by Carlos. At one point, in Spanish Rose, Carlos Santana, with his guitar, and Chris Rhyne, on keys, duel each other. That back-and-forth is brill
  9. My third release from the Inner Secrets album is Well All Right was a Buddy Holly hit, released in 1958. It has been covered dozens of times, by many artists. Blind Faith, in 1969, did a version which placed much more emphasis on guitar work. Santana's arrangement follows Blind Faith, rather than Buddy Holly. Well All Right, like most songs from this album, was a successful single release. Oddly enough, it had its best success in the Netherlands, where it cracked the top 40. The song fits well on our platform, with a little bit of fun for every instrument. The glory, of course, g
  10. Next up, from the Inner Secrets album, Stormy was a huge hit from 1968, by the Classics IV. The song was written by Buddy Buie, writer and producer for the Classics IV, and by James Cobb, their guitarist. The song reached #5 on the US charts. I've always liked that tune, but Santana's version has, well, Santana, and is just better. I think you will agree. Have a Stormy day. Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/stormy-r27150 Video Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTGuTkbY7As
  11. Back to Santana. My last two offerings were Put Your Lights On and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, both from the modern Santana, when the group moved from jazz and Latin to more popular, chart-friendly songs. This shift really dates back to 1978, and the Inner Secrets album. I am going to pull charts from that album for the next few weeks. First up: Many of the songs on Inner Secrets were covers of famous pieces, but Open Invitation was a Santana original, written by several members of the group. The tune is also much more pop-friendly than previous Santana hits. Well, pop until ne
  12. For this week: This is a very old love ballad, and no one seems to know who wrote the song. The song was first recorded by Bo Carter and Papa Charlie McCoy, in 1928. Later, it would become a rock staple, with versions recorded by Big Joe Turner (1956), Bill Haley (1959), Ray Peterson (1960), Dean Martin (1963), and Bob Dylan (1963). To me, Steppenwolf and love ballads ... they don't exactly go together. Of, if they are going to make a love ballad, it will sound more like Sookie, Sookie, not Corina, Corina. I think they knew this didn't fit their image, and they never released a st
  13. A classic Santana cover this week: This song was a Beatles hit, written by George Harrison. Santana covered this on their Guitar Heaven double album, from 2010. The song features stunning vocals, by India Arie, moving backing by the incomparable Yo Yo Ma on cello (which I charted to keys), and Carlos on two guitars, acoustic for the first half, then driving electric. A beautiful rendition. Enjoy. Preview Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-5M1_DKvb0 Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/while-my-guitar-gently-weep-r26948
  14. Per request, for this week: In 1999, Santana went off in a new direction, aiming at a wider audience, aiming for more pop, and less jazz. They released Supernatural, which was mostly collaboration works with other artists. The album was a massive success, with six major singles smashing the charts. Almost every track "featured" somebody famous. The first single released was Smooth, featuring Rob Thomas, from Matchbox Twenty. Smooth, by the way, is one of two Santana song charts put out by Harmonix. Great, great chart. If you don't have it, buy it! The other Harmonix song is Blac
  15. It's Saturday, and time for a Steppenwolf custom. It is also the Fourth of July. Happy Fourth, everyone. And, for Independence Day, there can only be one Steppenwolf song, no choice here at all. Yes, their incredible three-part Rock Opera, Monster, Suicide, America: The song seems timeless, seems like it was written yesterday, not half a century ago. Verses like aren't about Afghanistan, but they could be. Verses like refer to Chicago and Los Angeles, but they could be about Atlanta and Minneapolis. The Monster is really any politician, from any party, from any era.
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