SUPER
NAT
UR
AL

by

SAN
TAN
A

&

FRIENDS


So I know there is something happening. It was like that from '69 until '73, and then it went somewhere else. "
Still with perseverance Santana continued to add depth and breath to his catalogue of recordings and had eight gold and seven platinum albums before Supernatural

"Every musician who participated was on the same wavelength and artistic energy as I was. Supernatual is a beautiful example of synchronicity, making it was a truly glorious experience."
Late in 1999, Santana claimed to have been contacted by the Virgin Of Guadalupe while praying. He also has told interviewers about an angel contact in the mid-'90s. "You will be inside the radio frequency for the purpose of connecting the molecules with the light," the angel told him. "Be patient, gracious and grateful."
Santana's large rehearsal hall in San Rafael, California during the creation of Supernatural featured  bright wall hangings depicting his musical heroes -- John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Parker, and Bob Marley

 

By the late 1990s, Santana was looking for a comeback.
He explained to Andy Ellis in Guitar Player that in his meditation and dreams, he had received instructions telling him the following:
Santana"We want you to hook up with people at junior high schools, high schools, and universities. We're going to get you back into radio airplay."

 He felt his music could have a positive effect on youth of the day. Along with producer Clive Davis, who had first signed him to his contract at Columbia in the 1960s, Santana devised a plan. He told David Wild in Rolling Stone, "I didn't want Santana to sound like a Seventies jukebox.

Carlos had spent almost five years away from recording, not returning until June 1999 when he issued Supernatural on Arista Records. Santana had left Polydor and signed briefly to EMI before moving to Arista Records, run by Clive Davis, who had been president of Columbia during the band's heyday.
Carlos and Davis put together Supernatural, which was stuffed with appearances by high-profile guest stars including Eagle-Eye Cherry, Wyclef Jean, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas of matchbox 20, Everlast, and Dave Matthews. Arista released the album in June 1999, followed by the single "Smooth" featuring Rob Thomas. Album and single hit number one and in 2000, a second single, "Maria Maria," also topped the charts. Supernatural's sales exploded, taking it past ten million copies and the album garnered 11 Grammy nominations. Santana won eight Grammys, for Record of the Year ("Smooth"), Album of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal ("Maria Maria"), Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals ("Smooth"), Best Pop Instrumental Performance ("El Farol"), Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal ("Put Your Lights On"), Best Rock Instrumental Performance ("The Calling"), and Best Rock Album, and "Smooth" won the Grammy for Song of the Year for authors Rob Thomas and Itaal Shur.

"It's not really chance or luck," he remarked to Jeff Gordinier in Entertainment Weekly. "It's something more paranormal like divine synchronicity.

The title, Santana told an Entertainment Weekly interviewer, "deals with the paranormal relationship between Lauryn Hill, Eric Clapton, and myself. Most of my collaborators said, `I knew I was going to work with you because you were in my dreams.'"

A stunning 14 million copies and receive an almighty 10 Grammy nominations (it won nine, including Album Of the Year, Best Rock Album and Song Of The Year). The single Smooth went top 10 worldwide and Supernatural made Santana a household name for the second time around. His unique style was heard by new generations of fans, ensuring that classic recordings like Abraxas and Caravanserai also leapt off the music store shelves.


Santana, the 52-year-old singer-guitarist  took home eight Grammys for his 1999 album "Supernatural," including one for best album and two for the single "Smooth" featuring Rob Thomas. It was the most Grammys won by a single performer in Grammy history, tying the record set by Michael Jackson in 1983.
The song "Smooth" also won its writers, Itaal Shur and Thomas, a Grammy for song of the year.

Santana, meantime, won awards for best record, best album, best pop duo/group with vocals, best pop collaboration with vocals, best pop instrumental performance, best rock duo/group with vocals, best rock instrumental performance, and best rock album.

 
 

"Look, the first message was to stop the shootings in schools, which obviously have stopped," he says. "That was the first message for 'Supernatural,' and the last [time] people were shot was at Santana High School in San Diego."
More about the March 5 2001 shooting
As of April 2003 Santana had sold over 14 million copies of Supernatural. This places him at 26th on the all-time top selling CD more

top artists  
In August 2003 Santana was 28th on the list with 42.5 million units
(29th place was former original Santana band member Greg Rollie's Journey with 28 units)

 

Carlos Santana  led the pack with a whopping 10 nominations when the 2000 Granny nominations were announced.

That's double what the 52-year-old Latin rock guitarist had earned during his entire 30-year career. The original Woodstock alumnus, who until now sold the majority of his records in the late '60s and early '70s, has won only one Grammy, for best rock instrumental performance in 1988.

 




 

 

Andy Ellis interviews Carlos for his favorite magazine, Guitar Player as he is putting final touches on Supernatural.

 GP: How did this come about?

Santana: Through meditations and dreams, I received these instructions: "We want you to hook up with people at junior high schools, high schools, and universities. We're going to get you back into radio airplay." I said, "okay," because a lot of young people are not happy unless they are miserable. You can tell by what's happening at the schools. The vibrations of this music and the resonance in the lyrics will present these people with new options. I don't want them to feel like me or think like me -- we're all individuals, and we're all unique. But with our music, we're presenting a new octave -- a new menu. This menu says: "We are multi-dimensional spirits dwelling in the flesh, solely for the purpose of evolution."

You see, if you take the time to crystallize your intentions, motives, and purpose, and direct them for the highest good of life and people on the planet -- behold, you get synchronicity. I'll give you an example. Working with [Arista label head] Clive Davis, we got hooked up with Lauryn Hill. She said, "Oh man, I love your music. Since I was a child, I listened to 'Samba Pa Ti' -- I even wanted to put lyrics to it." So Lauryn invited me to play with her at the Grammy Awards. Playing with her was my first time there.
GP: And what a night -- she won five Grammys.

Yes, she cleaned up. Eric Clapton was in the audience, and he saw us perform. After the show, he called and said, "Look man, I heard that people at Arista were trying to contact me to play on your new record. I've been going through some serious changes in my life, and I was at a really critical point, but things are better now. Do you still hear me on your album? Is there room for me?" To hear Eric say that! I grew up listening to him, Peter Green, and Michael Bloomfield.
Then what happened?

Well, my spirits are Miles Davis and Bill Graham. Even though they've left the physical world, they still come in my dreams and give me instructions. So when Eric asked if there was room for him on the record, I could hear Bill saying, "No, you schmuck, you're too late!" So I'm on the phone having a conversation with Bill and Eric at the same time. To Bill, I said, "Wait. Maybe you can talk to him like that, but I can't." And to Eric, I said, "Yeah, but you know what? I wouldn't think of dipping you into something that has already been recorded. Why don't you come over, and we'll write something from scratch?"
And that's how we started. We went through a couple of things and settled on something I had written, but never recorded. It has a Prince bass groove, but it's very swampy -- you could hear John Lee Hooker or the Staple Singers playing it.
So that's synchronicity at work?

Exactly. Here's another example: Last summer, I asked an artist named Michael Rios to create a poster for us. I marked some passages in a few books and asked him to start with those ideas and then continue with his own vision. Do you know what's really amazing? The images for lyrics that Dave Matthews, Everlast, Wyclef, Lauryn Hill, and Eagle Eye Cherry brought to the album are all in the poster! I didn't tell them to look at it or anything.
So I know there is something happening. It was like that from '69 until '73, and then it went somewhere else. Now it's happening again with this music. I'm in total awe of how fast and smooth things have been. Nobody has had a cow, nobody is bugged out -- and there are a lot of producers, engineers, and artists involved with this record. They're putting their best foot forward and all being very gracious. I keep pinching myself. I feel very incidental -- I just show up, we see each other's eyes, we hear the music, and we start recording.
 

Were you listening to any particular musicians while working on this album?

I was listening to Peter Green, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis.

What were you listening for?

Peter Green for his legato tones. I mean, the first four or five years of Peter Green, because lately he plays more like Pat Martino. Staccato notes -- John Coltrane. And from Miles, you get the alchemy of making 50,000 notes into five. But with those five, you shake the world. That was Miles' supreme gift. He could play two or three notes and, man or woman, you'd just go, "Oh, my God." Listen to Sketches of Spain. Play your guitar and try to keep up with the notes, the way he holds them, the breath of it. That's the voice of angels, man.

You see, great music comes not from thinking, but from pure emotion. As the Grateful Dead people say, "it's when the music plays you." You make the best music when you're not conscious of doing it. I've been saying these things since the beginning. I remember getting in trouble with Frank Zappa -- I'm pretty sure he coined the phrase, "shut up and play your guitar" for people like me, because we talk a lot! But I am passionate about turning on massive amounts of kids and pulling them out of that miserable state. I want to turn them over. You don't have to be Jimi Hendrix or Charlie Parker -- you can get it done in your own way. God made the world round so we can all have center stage. Everybody is important, as long as you're doing it from your heart. Frustration and depression lead to homicide and genocide, but inspiration and vision lead to a spiritual orgasm.

Amazon.com: How have you been able to remain positive even in the face of all that you've seen? Santana: I have a very positive mother, a very positive father, but I also have that kind of spirit. The spark of divinity is everywhere. You can go look outside and see beautiful trees and an incredible planet, incredible blue sky, or you can see dog shit, you know? It's really your choice.

Amazon.com: How does it make you feel to share a stage with your heroes?
Santana:
It makes me feel really humble because I consider them to be like Stravinsky or Picasso, especially when I played with Miles Davis or Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock or McCoy Tyner . Jazz musicians, they're like an ocean; rock & roll musicians are like a swimming pool. I tend to hang out on a lake. In between, you know?

Amazon.com: Now some of the people that grew up with you as their hero get to play with you on the new record. Does that make you feel old or young?

Santana: It makes me feel young. The only thing that has ever made me feel old is those few times where I allow myself to be predictable. Routine is death. There's ways to get rid of that, and that's just take colder showers or sleep on the floor, just change routine! Go a different way home. And all the people who I grew up with, you know, Bill Graham, Miles Davis, and John Lee Hooker, I have never seen these people be bored or predictable or yawning. They are always either very passionate or very horny or very holy or all of them at the same time. So they are always aroused, and how can you feel old when you feel totally aroused?

Amazon.com: What's distinctive about each of your new collaborators?

Santana: None of the musicians who played on this CD are into show business or entertainment. We're musicians and we know that one note goes right inside the listener. Everlast is super, gutbucket raw! But there is a lot of light in him... he's like spreading a spiritual virus. He and Lauryn Hill take it to another level of the streets as far as the spiritual and meat-and-potatoes common sense, you know? Eric Clapton, it's a humbling experience to work with him because I was still washing dishes and bleaching floors and peeling potatoes when Jimi Hendrix went to England and he was looking for Eric Clapton.

Supernatural, the 36th of his career,  introduced his massive world music following to an exciting line-up of rock, pop and hip hop personalities via Supernatural's dynamic roster.  Supernatural has sold in excess of ten million copies, and has been officially certified 'Dectillion Platinum' - Diamond Status-by the R.I.A.A. It won nine GRAMMYs at the 42nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2000, including Album Of the Year, Best Rock Album, and Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for 'Smooth,' Santana's unforgettable collaboration with alternative-rock favorite Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas.

“No, this is not a matter of coincidence or a lucky break, but something much bigger: a kind of holy synchronicity. I have sought to spread a kind of spiritual virus, and now I’ve received a great opportunity”,

Carlos says " there's a story behind " Love of my Life " w/Dave Mattews. When my father passed away two or three years ago, I didn't listen to music for four days -- that's a long time for me. I was picking up my son from school, and I thought, okay, time to listen to some radio. I turned on a classical station, and the first thing I heard was this melody.The melody just stayed with me. They didn't say who the composer was, but I thought it was Strauss. I wanted to find out what this was, so I went to the classical music section at Tower Records and said , "All I have is this melody." I sang it , and the guy goes ...."Oh yeah. Brahms " Concerto No. 2." .They get me the CD, and that's the song! I said, " Damn, you guys are good!" So I brought this melody to Dave Matthews in New York. I said, "I hear this with a 1999 bass." I also recited these lines: " You're the love of my life You're the breath of my prayers Take my hand, lead me there With you is where I want to be ". Dave sat down and -- wrote the song lyrics right there on the spot, and we recorded it. If Brahms were alive today, he would swing it, too, because it's what's happening. Listen to Dave's phrasing -- he sang it like Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra -- way behind the beat. It's that human thing. Only squares sing in the middle. The album " Spellbinder " by Gabor Szabo. That is a must for anybody who plays guitar. He's the person who I credit with pulling me out of B.B. King.......B.B. had us in a headlock -- Michael Bloomfield , Peter Green -- we were all under his spell

 
  Seldom has a career been so spectacularly resurrected and new respect garnered for an artist's back catalogue, as happened with the release of Santana's 1999 album Supernatural.
 
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