Santana: Guitar Heaven – The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time
Carlos Santana is at it again. Using that same magical touch that earned him all those little gold gramophones, his new album, Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, features a whole bunch of popular singers with Santana’s brilliant playing and his usual array of amazing percussionists on a wide range of popular rock tunes.
“Whole Lotta Love” opens the album and features Chris Cornell. Though not much different from the original, Cornell still sounds good. The middle section of the song is still slightly spooky and there is some great timbale playing. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” has a great groove—Carlos is really wailing—but Scott Weiland does little or nothing to add to another stiff arrangement.
“Sunshine of Your Love” is where things finally get interesting. The song features Rob Thomas’ excellent vocals, a cool backing organ and those perfect Santana percussionists. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is the lead-off single on the CD and begins with Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos weaving their sounds together, before India.Arie eventually starts singing, ultimately making me wish it had stayed an instrumental. “Back in Black” is interesting, with Nas rapping and Carlos rockin’, but nothing much else of interest.
“Bang a Gong” works great; Gavin Rossdale’s singing, Carlos sneaks in his “speaking” guitar fills in the verses and absolutely cooks with purpose during the leads and backing grooves. “Little Wing” and “I Ain’t Superstitious” end it all, the first with Joe Cocker pushing Carlos to amazing heights and Jonny Lang wailing alongside Santana.