I blame my parents. This is their entire fault. My relationship with Rock music began when I was born and it is still one of my two main passions (alongside Football). I started with a couple songs from some legendary rock bands, but the core was Latin Rock. These are some suggestions of songs and albums you can hear to begin with.
First of all: I’m veryfying in English this time because is probably this the audience that hasn’t heard any of these songs. Also I’m going to focus on my taste and not on media/specialists opinions, so this is an absolutely personal post. If you want to check out some info on Latin Rock you can google it (classic lazy suggestion).
Santana – The Latin Guitar Hero
Black Magic Woman (1970)
As part of the best album Santana has released to date, this song is pure wisdom and fusion style between tropical and California rock sounds. When you hear it you can separate perfectly every rythm and style. From the overdrive distortion guitar (recognizable in every song) to the Latin rhythms on the percussion. I’m not an expert on music, but this is one of the masterpieces Carlitos has brought to the world. If you want a smooth transition from “American” Rock to Latin Rock, you can always start with Carlos Santana and this song.
Samba Pa Ti (1970)
Guess the album: Abraxas. Same as Black Magic Woma, this song has every component of Santana’s style. But this in particular is also a perfect representation of the guitar prodigy he is, the melodic composition is absolutely fantastic. With three main riffs in the song, Santana makes the guitar sing and it tells a perfect story. ALso if you are wishing to get high and you’re tired of Shine on Your Crazy Diamond, first of all get checked by your medic quickly because who the fuck does? Second, find your favorite music player, check this song out and be prepared to get your mind blown away.
Corazon Espinado ft Maná (1999)
Transition is starting to get deeper (not that deep, just the tip). This is a song where you can find for the first time Spanish language (Black Magic Woman has English lyrics). Man’a is one of the most famous Latin Rock-Pop bands in the region and the difference maker here is the drums. Hear this song and find not only Santana, the start of your Spanish adventure on music and some of the Latin rhythms you probably already heard. Check out the drummer from Maná, Alex “El Animal” Gonzalez, HE IS A DEMON and he sings the chorus at the same time. This is a song to enjoy, dance and sing along while at the same time get amazed by Santana’s overdrive guitar playing. If you want to check the English version of this song just hear Santana’s Smooth ft Rob Thomas.
Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile) (1976)
In support of my endless campaign to get “slow ballads” to be played again, this is one of the main songs I get as an argument. Santana deliver’s a poetic riff with feelings on it. The term “make the guitar cry” was never so perfect as for this exact moment. YOu got two and a half minutes to fet that girl on your arms, because afterwqards the passion comes raining in with a faster pace drum rhythm to get insane. This is the process of a love story full of passion delivered by the original Latin Guitar Hero himself. Say whatever you want about the simplicity of it, but you just can’t take away the emotion behind each note played on that Paul Reed Smith guitar.
Oye Como Va (1970)
This is one you probably know. Five seconds into this song and you will hear its definiton in the back: “Sabor!” As a whole this is the best-seller product of the entire Santana’s band and not Carlos only. In fact, my classmates and me played this song in our ceremony of elementary graduation with a total of 15 members in the band. All 15 of us were irreplaceable, because otherwise the song would not be possible to perform at its best. Ignoring guitar’s prominence, there are some key components that just can’t be ignored. The keyboards, rhythm guitar, maracas, congas, triangle, woods and vocals are crucial in the masterpiece. This is the mix of every characteristic from the dancing Santana’s style, the cha cha cha, sticky chorus lines and free-style riffing on Carlito’s guitar is what gives this song the unique Anglo-Latin rock style which can transition you tou our world here in the south.
Featured Album: Abraxas. Period.