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Album Review

Borboletta was the first new Santana band studio album in 11 months and the group's sixth overall. Once again, individual credits were listed for each song. The main problem was that the band seemed to be coasting; Carlos turned in the usual complement of high-pitched lead guitar work, and the percussionists pounded away, but the Santana sound had long since taken over from any individual composition, and the records were starting to sound alike. That, in turn, started to make them inessential; Borboletta spent less time on the charts than any previous Santana album.

Customer Reviews

Borboletta is an overlooked gem.

Just because an album doesn't sell a lot of copies doesn't mean it's not good. "Borboletta" came at a time when Santana was exploring musical frontiers, but had questionable commercial viability. The musicianship is amazing. I first heard this record (remember those?) when side 2 opened with the impressive "Practice What You Preach", transitioning into the brilliant "Promise of a Fisherman". One of the great musical journeys of all time. Did I mention that jazz great Stanley Clark is playing bass? For pure guitar virtuosity, check out the solos on "One With The Sun". Carlos shows why he is arguably the greatest living guitar player of our time. Awesome! It may not have sold a lot of records, but "Borboletta" represents the work of a master guitarist and his band at the peak of their creative powers.

Timeless Trip

Although almost unknown by mainstream Santana fans, this album is an intense journey through a spiritual and musical wonderland. Along with "Welcome", another unheralded Santana effort, it pushed the boundaries beyond pop and salsa into jazz, tinged with Middle Eastern and Asian rhythms and instrumentation, with lyrics describing spiritual goals. Not preachy, but with some urgency, the listener is asked to follow the musicians as they explore all facets of tempo and soundscape, from hypnotically mellow to screamingly ecstatic. This is not an album to be listened to in pieces. As another reviewer said, turn out the lights and put on the headphones, or else get out on the highway at night and take two journeys at once. Enjoy...

Probably The Best Early-Period Record.

The reviewer's assessment of the album in question is unfair. This is probably one of Santana's best records. The musicianship, not to mention the songwriting, is fantastic apart from the monsterous guitar playing. Whether an album sells or charts has nothing to do with its quality. Don't be fooled by that foolish claim. You'll be missing out on a helluva lot of good music if you are.


Formed: 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Santana is the primary exponent of Latin-tinged rock, particularly due to their combination of Latin percussion (congas, timbales, etc.) with bandleader Carlos Santana's distinctive, high-pitched lead guitar playing. The group was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s. The musical direction then changed to a more contemplative and jazzy style as the band's early personnel...
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