Original Album Classics: Inner Secrets/Marathon/Zebop!/Shango/Freedom
This second volume in Sony's EU Original Album Classics series looks at five albums over a ten-year period. The first four of these -- Inner Secrets, Marathon, Zebop, and Shango -- catch the band during a renaissance of singles and a decline in album sales in the marketplace. The first of these, issued in 1978, boasted three charting singles in "One Chain (Don't Make No Prison)" (number 59), "Stormy" (number 32), and a cover of Buddy Holly's "Well All Right" (number 69), done in the Blind Faith arrangement. Marathon, released in 1979, may not have sold as an album, but did score a hit with the Top 40 single "You Know That I Love You" (number 35). Zebop, issued in 1981 -- after Carlos Santana released his second solo album, Swing of Delight -- first hit the Hot 100 with "The Sensitive Kind" (number 59) written by Russ Ballard. "Winning" was the second single and it went to number 33 as the album entered into the Top Ten and went gold. Shango, from 1981, resulted in two more hit singles, "Hold On" (number 15) and "Nowhere to Run" (number 66). The final album in this set, Freedom, was released after the band took a long break. While they toured together, Carlos was making solo records for most of the '80s. This comeback album was a reunion of sorts and featured former members Tom Coster and Chester Thompson on keyboards. Even founding member Gregg Rolie made a guest appearance. Interestingly, this set also featured the talents of drummer Buddy Miles on vocals. The album failed to score any hits major or minor, but did end up in the Top 100 on the Billboard charts. This middle-period set documents Santana as they never were before or after -- as a singles outfit as interested in performing classics from the rock and R&B canon as they were in writing original material.