Made in 1976, Amigos was Santana’s seventh album and found the guitarist looking for a change of direction, with quite a lot of proper songs and a mixture of styles. Today it’s an album that wears its influences on its sleeve, these primarily being Herbie Hancock, Funkadelic and even Stevie Wonder. Carlos had clearly got the funk and was going to have some fun with it. There is plenty of his hallmark Latin percussion and sustained guitar to keep fans of the early (and more successful) albums happy, but also a clear sense that change was needed if he was to sustain his appeal. There is one track that proved very influential itself, that being ‘Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile)’ which is more than similar to Parisian Walkways, the track that Gary Moore made his signature tune. The highlight among several strong tunes is Let Me, a funky, rich and dense piece that features Santana winding up his guitar for an intense, even smokin’ solo that’s unusually to the point.
As was often the case with Columbia’s seventies recordings the use of compression is a bit heavy handed but this pressing brings out all the instruments and revels in their tone as well as the overall vibe.