Black Magic Woman (1970) - Santana (Santana) - All about the song ...

The story of Santana's "witchy" song called "Black Magic Woman".

Song History: Black Magic Woman (1968) - Santana

Far from the pop genre, Santana's "witchy" song "Black Magic Woman" is literally saturated with rock and roll riffs. But few people know that this hit single is only a cover version. The original composition was created two years earlier - in 1968, by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. However, it was in the performance of Santana that the single became so overwhelmingly popular. This made the song the crown jewel of one of the band's most successful studio albums, Abraxas.


Peter Green is a British blues rock guitarist and founding member of Fleetwood Mac.
Peter Green is a British blues rock guitarist and founding member of Fleetwood Mac.

In general, it is quite difficult to establish the authorship of blues singles, because in every hit little thing familiar riffs and motives are traced, which each musician dilutes with something of his own, unique ... The same is with Black Magic Woman. It is known that the hit is the work of Peter Green, the guitarist of the blues rock band Fleetwood Mac.

However, it is impossible to call a masterpiece fresh and truly new. In fact, Green only masterfully reworked one of his old works - "I Loved Another Woman". Be that as it may, the original soul version performed by the aforementioned ensemble won recognition from the public, confidently taking the 37th line of the British hit parade.

Soul version of Santana


Although Santana's version, recorded in the heyday of the '70s, has the same rhythm, key, chord progression and melody as Fleetwood Mac, it is vastly different from the original. The Latin roots of Carlos largely affected - it was not for nothing that he entered the world history of music as the founder of a completely new genre - Latin rock.

And he was not too lazy to color the arrangement of the single with rich percussion, diluting the original with Latin polyrhythms and a curious mixture of blues, rock and jazz, flavoring it all with Afro-Cuban motifs and cymbals. In general, the track turned into a charming thing in the spirit of voodoo. To the ending of "Black Magic Woman" the musician decided to add a whole excerpt from Gabor Szabo's composition "Gypsy Queen". This stretched out the song for more than 5 minutes, although during the concerts the group plunged into such musical ecstasy that the improvisation lasted for ten whole minutes!

Singles from the Abraxas album: "Black Magic Woman" - A-side and "Hope You're Feeling Better" - B-side
Single LP from Abraxas: "Black Magic Woman" - A-side and "Hope You're Feeling Better" - B-side

Shortly after its release, Santana's soul version became a wild success. After that, the group did not miss a single concert, so as not to perform a sensational hit. So, "Black Magic Woman" is firmly entrenched in the band's repertoire.

In 1970, the cover was released as a single and reached number four in the US. In the same year, the hit was included in the second studio album "Abraxas". Such a mysterious name was influenced by the collective's passionate craving for everything mystical. The album itself, by the way, became one of Santana's most successful creations and was recognized as No. 1 in the United States.

Curious facts

Santana's cover version instantly overshadowed the original, in connection with which the members of the Fleetwood Mac group even had to remind the public during concert performances that they, in fact, were not playing their own work, but someone else's ...


The song "Black Magic Woman" is about a woman who skillfully wields black magic. Ironically, in the late 60s, Peter Green fell into occult circles. In the rituals, the main “magic” substance was acid, which brought the musician to a severe drug addiction, which forced him to subsequently leave the group.

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