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Music / Abraxas

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"Oye como va?", black magic woman?

Abraxas is the sophomore album from Santana, released in September 1970. Considered to be one of Santana's finest releases, it helped shape their current sound after the primitive cover-heavy sound of their self-titled debut the year prior, containing some of their best-known tracks, including "Oye como va" and "Black Magic Woman".

The album was listed at nr. #207 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.



Side One

  1. "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts" (4:51)
  2. "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" (5:24)
  3. "Oye como va" (4:17)
  4. "Incident at Neshabur" (4:58)

Side Two

  1. "Se a cabo" (2:50)
  2. "Mother's Daughter" (4:25)
  3. "Samba pa' ti" (4:45)
  4. "Hope You're Feeling Better" (4:10)
  5. "El Nicoya" (1:30)

Black Magic Tropes

  • Bilingual Bonus: Some tracks are sung in Spanish, others in English.
  • Cover Version: "Oye como va", a Tito Puente cover, "Black Magic Woman", a Fleetwood Mac cover, and "Gypsy Queen", a cover of Hungarian jazz guitarist Gábor Szabó.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover, which is a 1961 painting by Mati Klarwein, who also created the album cover of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew.
  • Instrumentals: "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts", "Samba pa ti", "Incident at Neshabur".
  • Ms. Fanservice: The woman on the album cover.
  • Advertisement:
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The album mixes rock, blues and salsa.
  • One-Woman Song: "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen", "Mother's Daughter".
  • One-Word Title: "Abraxas".
  • The Power of Rock: "Oye como va mi ritmo", a song which translates to: "Listen to how my rhythm goes".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is based on a line from Hermann Hesse's novel Demian, also quoted on the back cover:
    We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it: We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas....
    • "Black Magic Woman" was referenced by The Fugees on their album The Score (1996) during the track "Zealots":
    My grammar plays/ like Carlos Santana plays "Black Magic Woman"
    • The movie A Serious Man features a reference to the album, as the son of the protagonist orders it (and other records) from a record club without his permission, much to his surprise.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Black Magic Woman" is almost never played on the radio without its outro "Gypsy Queen". They're even indexed as one track on CD versions. On this album, "Gypsy Queen" fades into "Oye como va", but these are generally played separately on the radio.
  • Song Style Shift: Their version of "Black Magic Woman" speeds up for an epic instrumental outro. "Incident at Neshabur" does the exact opposite, starting at a frenetic pace only to slow down abruptly in the second half of the song.


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