Carlos Santana's new album, GUITAR HEAVEN—which drops on September 21—features his versions of some of the all-time guitar-centric songs of all time, as chosen by him and producer Clive Davis. As with the previous Santana smash releases SUPERNATURAL, SHAMAN, and ALL THAT I AM, special guest vocalists appear on every track.
GP Editor in Chief Michael Molenda was invited to the release party in Las Vegas on August 25, and his eyewitness report on the event will soon be posted in the guitarplayer.com blog section. Please watch for it.
But, for now, here's the rundown for the impatient...
Chris Cornell (“Whole Lotta Love”), India.Arie and Yo Yo Ma (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”), Pat Monahan (“Dance the Night Away”), Chester Bennington and Ray Manzarek (“Riders On The Storm”), Rob Thomas (“Sunshine Of Your Love”), Scott Weiland (“Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’”), Chris Daughtry (“Photograph”), Gavin Rossdale (“Bang A Gong”), Nas and Janelle Monáe (“Back In Black”), Joe Cocker (“Little Wing”), Jonny Lang (“I Ain’t Superstitious”), and more!
Carlos Santana and Olivia Harrison face the media in the Hard Rock Hotel's Vanity nightclub after the press unveiling of Santana's GUITAR HEAVEN album.
And here's the official press release...
(August 20, 2010 – New York, NY) The longest-running, most successful partnership in the history of rock takes flight anew, as legendary Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductees Carlos Santana and Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, collaborate on the brand new concept album, GUITAR HEAVEN: THE GREATEST GUITAR CLASSICS OF ALL TIME, arriving in stores September 21st on Arista Records. The album was co-produced by Howard Benson, Matt Serletic, Clive Davis, and Carlos Santana.
Working from their collective encyclopedic knowledge of rock, Carlos Santana and Clive Davis devised a list of guitar-centric titles – and then invited a Who’s Who of guest vocalists to perform on every track. Singers range from Chris Cornell (on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”), Pat Monahan (on Van Halen’s “Dance the Night Away”), Chester Bennington and Ray Manzarek (on The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm”), Rob Thomas (on Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love), Scott Weiland (on the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’”), Chris Daughtry (on Def Leppard’s “Photograph”), Gavin Rossdale (on T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong”) to rapper Nas and Janelle Monáe (on AC/DC’s “Back In Black”), veteran Joe Cocker (on Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”), and more.
A very special dedication to George Harrison comes together on GUITAR HEAVEN…, with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” on the album’s first single featuring singer india.arie and master cellist Yo-Yo Ma. “Listening to the song,” Olivia Harrison told Carlos, “it made me jump for joy and cry at the same time.” (Please see below for complete and deluxe edition track listing.)
Along with these stars, Carlos offers “supreme validation and compliment” to his full-time band for their work on GUITAR HEAVEN…, their first entire full-length studio album recording together. Band members who join him on the album include Dennis Chambers (drums), Benny Rietveld (bass), Karl Perrazo (timbales), Tommy Anthony (rhythm guitar), Freddie Ravel (keyboards), Andy Vargas (background vocals), and Raul Rekow (Congas). Bill Ortiz (trumpet) and Jeff Cressman (trombone) also appear on the record.
“To create these songs,” said Carlos, “it took an incredible amount of trust – from Howard Benson and Matt Serletic, and from, and all these incredible singers, all these incredible musicians, they had to trust me, and I trusted Clive, so it’s a chain reaction of love, because that’s the highest form of love that there is on this planet: Trust.”
“The cuts are special and the guest stars are special,” said Clive Davis. “But what is unique and why this album stands for more than just the individual songs or titles, is that they were indeed chosen because they’re guitar classics. And they celebrate the guitar because of the performance of Carlos Santana.”
GUITAR HEAVEN… is the first new studio album by Santana since their trilogy of consecutive blockbuster Arista releases: Supernatural (1999), Shaman (2002), and All That I Am (2005). All three albums were produced by Carlos Santana and Clive Davis. They represented a warm and well-received reunion with the executive who first signed Santana to Columbia Records (after seeing them at San Francisco’s Fillmore West over Christmas week, 1968, at Bill Graham’s request). Clive oversaw their formative years on the path to international superstardom starting in 1969, with the release of their debut album on August 18th, the Monday after their historic Saturday performance at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair.
Three decades later in 1999, Supernatural became – and remains – an unsurpassed industry phenom, 15-times RIAA platinum in the U.S. alone, nearly double that number of sales globally, the #6 best-selling album in Soundscan history. Supernatural spent 102 weeks on the Billboard chart including 12 weeks at #1. Its success was fueled by the #1 singles “Smooth” (co-written by and featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty) and “Maria Maria” (featuring Product G&B).
Most significantly, Supernatural generated nine GRAMMY awards, an all-time record for a single album project, including Album Of the Year and Best Rock Album, as well as Record Of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration, all for “Smooth”; plus Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group for “Maria Maria.” There were also premiere Latin GRAMMY Award wins (the show’s first year) for Record Of The Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group.
Supernatural was a hard act to follow – but 2002’s Shaman gave Santana a second consecutive #1 multi-platinum album, propelled by the GRAMMY-winning Top 5 single “The Game of Love” featuring Michelle Branch; and Top 10 “Why Don’t You and I” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. Third in this series of collaborative albums was 2005’s All That I Am, which entered Soundscan at #2, highlighted by the anthemic rocker “Just Feel Better,” featuring Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
Ultimate Santana was released in 2007, the first career-spanning anthology to include touchstone tracks from the band’s earliest hitmaking years on Columbia Records (“Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Como Va,” “Samba Pa Ti,” “Everybody’s Everything,” “No One To Depend On,” “Europa”) – alongside material from the three Arista albums, the groundbreaking collaborations plus new and previously unreleased tracks.
It has been more than 40 years since the original Santana Blues Band played its first shows at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West in San Francisco, opening for The Who in October 1967. Santana is unique among all the first generation Bay Area bands for sustaining its success on the charts and on the road as a sold-out stadium attraction. Their track record boasts 20 RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums (including their first 14 consecutive certifications) and lifetime sales of more than 90 million albums worldwide. GUITAR HEAVEN: THE GREATEST GUITAR CLASSICS OF ALL TIME carries the continuum to the next generation.
GUITAR HEAVEN: THE GREATEST GUITAR CLASSICS OF ALL TIME
Standard edition - final track listing:
“Whole Lotta Love” featuring Chris Cornell (Led Zeppelin)
“Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’” featuring Scott Weiland (The Rolling Stones)
“Sunshine Of Your Love” featuring Rob Thomas (Cream)
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” featuring india.arie and Yo-Yo Ma (The Beatles)
“Dance the Night Away” featuring Pat Monahan (Van Halen)
“Back In Black” featuring Nas and Janelle Monáe (AC/DC)
“Riders On the Storm” featuring Chester Bennington and Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
“Smoke On the Water” featuring Jacoby Shaddix (Deep Purple)
“Photograph” featuring Chris Daughtry (Def Leppard)
“Bang A Gong” featuring Gavin Rossdale (T. Rex)
“Little Wing” featuring Joe Cocker (Jimi Hendrix)
“I Ain’t Superstitious” featuring Jonny Lang (Howlin’ Wolf, Jeff Beck Group)
Includes standard edition track listing plus “Fortunate Son” featuring Scott Stapp (Credence Clearwater Revival) and “Under the Bridge” featuring Andy Vargas (Red Hot Chili Peppers).
The deluxe edition also features never-before-seen footage on DVD entitled The Making Of Guitar Heaven… including “behind the scenes” footage from the studio and interviews with guest vocalists from the album and producers Howard Benson, Matt Serletic, and Clive Davis, as well as an extensive one-on-one interview with Carlos Santana and Clive Davis.