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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Santana - 1985 Beyond Appearances
Santana - 1985 Beyond Appearances

ARTIST: Santana
ALBUM: Beyond Appearances
SERIAL: CK 39527
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: Reissue List..


LINEUP: Carlos Santana - guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, vocals * Greg Walker - lead and background vocals * Alex Ligertwood - rhythm guitar, lead and background vocals, harmony * John Woodhead, Craig Hull - guitar * David Sancious - rhythm guitar, keyboards, synthesizer * Alphonso Johnson, Bryan Garofalo - bass * F. Bob Getter - string bass * Chester D. Thompson - synthesizer, bass, keyboards, organ * Steve Goldstein - synthesizer, keyboards * Mitchell Froom - string synthesizer * David Adelstein - synthesizer, DMX drum machine, synthesizer bass * Chester Cortez Thompson - drums, bass pedals * Craig Krampf - drums, DMX drum machine * Orestes Vilato - bells, timbales, percussion, cymbals, woodblocks, vocals * Armando Peraza - bongos, percussion, shakers, congas * Raul Rekow - chekere, congas, shakers, vocals * Anthony LaPeau - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Breaking Out * 02 Written In Sand * 03 How Long * 04 Brotherhood * 05 Spirit * 06 Say It Again * 07 Who Loves You * 08 I'm the One Who Loves You * 09 Touchdown Raiders * 10 Right Now


Without doubt, one of Santana's more unusual albums, but if you're an AOR guy, then this is definitely worth a listen. It's a big line-up of players, with Greg Walker and Alex Litgerwood (principal vocalists from past albums) featured here. 'Beyond Appearances' is a return for Carlos and crew after three years, his last release being 1982's 'Shango'. This is quite a hi-tech affair, with lots of synths and percussion, and a top session team, the album taking seven months to assemble. If you like the pop style of 80's Genesis, Mr Mister and even Lee Ritenour's 80's efforts, then 'Beyond Appearances' is up for grabs.

The Songs
Leading the way, 'Breaking Out' continues Santana's early 80's run, with a stab at commercial radio oriented material. A definite fit for the AOR audience. 'Written In Sand' was co-written by former Gamma keyboardist Mitchell Froom, and sounds like a Mr Mister track, especially those vocals. Nice tune. 'How Long' was written by solo-artist Robbie Patton, with synths playing a major part, this one has a similarity to 80's era Genesis, which means.. pop. 'Brotherhood' is a return to Santana's stock in trade, very Latin, very percussive.. you know the rest. So too the energetic 'Spirit', which harks back to their 'Inner Secrets' era. 'Say It Again' was the best performing song on the album, co-written by top San Francisco based producer Val Garay, along with Steve Goldstein and Anthony Lapeau. 'Who Loves You' is another excellent tune, top-heavy on percussive and a hard-driving beat. 'I'm The One Who Loves You' is a Curtis Mayfield cover, and is probably the only song which didn't hit the mark for me. 'Touchdown Raiders' is an instrumental, I wonder if it was penned for the benefit of local football side the Oakland Raiders? The closer 'Right Now' is the longest track here at 6 minutes, and reverts back to those longer Latin inspired workouts from yesteryear.

In Summary
I don't actually own this in any capacity (LP, CD etc). I picked it up for review thanks to Google Play Music, and pleased that I did. 'Say It Again' was the only track which did anything useful on the charts, making it to #46, but overall, the album was not a success, as were most of their albums up to about 1991, when CBS finally threw the towel in, after decades of working together. Carlos resurfaced in 1992 with the 'Milagro' album, now signed to Polydor. As I said, 'Beyond Appearances', which sports a very colourful montage as an album cover, is very poppy and mainstream, perhaps the most of Santana's vast back catalogue, and I think it's well worth checking out. [word count 441]

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#1 | reyno-roxx on February 21 2016 16:40:35
Thanks to this review I just picked up a cheap copy on Amazon. Thanks George. I love this site!
#2 | Eric on February 21 2016 22:34:13
After 'Shango' I moved on to other things and never paid much attention to what Carlos was doing in all these years since, so like Dave, this is a new one for me as well. Headed over to Amazon....
#3 | richardb on February 22 2016 18:23:49
Great minds think alike Dave. I just did the same thing myself yesterday..

Thumbs Up
#4 | englandashes on February 22 2016 22:12:13
Only 11 left in stock now!
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