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Santana Reunion Inspired an Outburst of Almost 50 Songs

Frank Micelotta / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

The reunion of Santana‘s classic-era members sparked a tidal wave of creativity. As Carlos Santana confirms in a new talk with the Huffington Post, the group worked on far more music than will see the light of day on the upcoming Santana IV.

“We probably recorded close to 50 [songs], but this is what was most ready to come out,” he explained. “These songs are not in an embryonic state like the other ones.”

Gregg Rolie, the group’s returning keyboardist and singer, described their recent time together as “just like riding a bicycle. It was something about how we grew up together with this music and playing with each other. It was really a jam band. That’s what we did the first couple of days. We just drank and jammed. … It had feel beyond belief; there was some great stuff going on.”

Together for the first time since 1971’s Santana III, Santana, Rolie and second guitarist Neal Schon returned to a shared early musical experience – specifically, their days at the Fillmore. “We were thinking of honoring the Grateful Dead, Ravi Shankar, Miles Davis, the Doors,” Santana said. “Just go there, go to that place where you can still smell the patchouli oil and the weed, you know?”

At the same time, Rolie admitted that much has changed over the decades. “We’re better writers, we’re better with people, we’re better all the way around as human beings – and that leads to the music,” he said. “If you’re having a good time with the talent and the people that are involved, it’s going to be good.”

The always-busy Santana also noted that his next projects will include collaborations with members of the Isley Brothers, Herbie Hancock and others.

See Santana and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’70s

Next: Top 10 Santana Songs

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