By the late 1990s, Santana was looking for a comeback.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
How does it
make you feel to share a stage with your
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.||