Santana: “Black Magic Woman” (1970)

Santana shows no signs of ending their evil ways, turning Fleetwood Mac’s recent single into a smoldering witches’ brew of sounds.

Kronomyth 2.1: Got a flak in my jacoma.

Santana’s second tale of a supernaturally evil female cemented their status as a major new force in rock, although one couldn’t help but wonder if the devil wasn’t in the details. It’s rare for rock bands to cover recent material from their contemporaries (in this case, Fleetwood Mac) and rarer still for them to do it so much better when the original in question already sounded great. That shows exceptional confidence and even a certain fearlessness in Santana. The single version presented here is substantially edited from the elpee version, but even without the extended organ and guitar invocations it’s a powerful song.

The flip side, “Hope You’re Feeling Better,” is a powerhouse original from Rolie that may be as close as Santana has come to sounding like Jimi Hendrix. The sound pulses in a psychedelic frenzy as Rolie directs his sonic psi-blast at a stupid girl. I always felt that Rolie’s originals were given short shrift in the legacy Santana, as if they were simply filler between the famous Latin masses, but in truth they were some of the most exciting moments on the early Santana albums.

Shortly after its release, “Black Magic Woman” was paired with Abraxas’ other single, “Oye Como Va,” and this was re-issued over the years as part of the Columbia/CBS Hall of Fame series. A live version of “Black Magic Woman” from Moonflower was also released as a single.

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green) (3:16)
B1. Hope You’re Feeling Better (Gregg Rolie) (4:13)

7-inch single Hall of Fame reissue (1971)
A1. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green) (3:16)
B1. Oye Como Va (Tito Puente) (2:59)

7-inch single version reissue (Netherlands)
A1. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green) (3:34)
B1. Mother’s Daughter (Gregg Rolie) (4:25)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on October 26, 1970 in the US and Canada (Columbia, 4-45270) and on December 11, 1970 in the UK (CBS, S 5323), Australia (CBS, BA-221781), France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain (CBS, 5323), Japan (CBS/Sony, CBSA 82089) and New Zealand (CBS, BA 461321) with regional picture sleeve; reached #4 on the US charts (charted on November 14, 1970 for 13 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1970 in the US (Columbia, 4 4-45270) feat. A mono on flip.

  1. Re-released with “Oye Como Va” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1971 in the US and Canada (Columbia Hall of Fame, 4-33195).
  2. Re-issued with “Oye Como Va” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single on April 13, 1973 in the UK (CBS, S CBS 1155) with picture sleeve and A/B reversed.
  3. Re-issued with “Oye Como Va” on backto-back hits in 1973(?) in Japan (CBS/Sony Gold Disc, SOPB 212) with picture sleeve.
  4. Re-released with “Mother’s Daughter” on 7-inch single in 1974 in the Netherlands (CBS, CBS 2082) with picture sleeve.
  5. Re-issued with “Oye Como Va” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single on February 26, 1976 in the UK (CBS, S CBS 3950) with picture sleeve and A/B reversed.
  6. Re-issued with “Oye Como Va” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1978 in the US and Canada (Columbia, 13-33195).

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