Santana, Lotus (1973)
Probably one of the albums that I’ve listened to the most in my life. In fact, easily. It was my lawn-mowing music when I was 13, 14, 15. Weird, maybe, but it worked. I was hooked on Santana when I was about 12. My folks were buying CDs – excited by the potential of the new medium; they were revisiting their old record collection and replacing it. As well as buying things from the era they grew up in but never owned. A Greatest Hits album became a revelation to me. And I coveted a double tape called Lotus. It was a Christmas gift one year, came with a fold-out poster. It blew my mind; one of the truly life-changing records for me. Then I bought the double-CD and a couple of years ago I got the original triple LP. Yes, triple live LPs from the 1970s probably should come with some sort of health warning but fuck-me this album is amazing. I never get sick of it. It’s so sure of itself, or confident at least to take the journey, to seek things out, to have a go – like some giant aural splatter painting; that foundation of percussion with Carlos just wailing over it (see Every Step Of The Way). This album still regularly goes out to people on loan; I’ve introduced it to a few people and they seem to love it also. Remarkable playing on it – a band near the peak of their powers. And I love how it’s not at all for everyone and not an easy listen. If only Carlos would sit back and listen to this before he makes another album. But of course, instead, he goes off and does this. Jerk! He was – at one time – one of my favourite guitar-heroes but he’s fallen far from grace. Nine Grammy awards’ll do that apparently. What a shame. But I’m happy still with Lotus; it’s a revelation every time.
Sample Track: Free Angela Samba De Sausalito