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Rock Hall Anniversary: Santana’s Supernatural

In June 1999, Santana released their seventeenth studio album Supernatural. The album became the group’s first number one album since 1971’s Santana III, and became their biggest selling album, with over thirty million copies sold worldwide. It will also be one of the biggest from any artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which they entered in 1998).

Supernatural featured a wide range of guest stars, most of which were at the height of their career at the time. They include Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Eric Clapton. There was also a wide range of producers at the helm, also well known throughout the 1990s including the Dust Brothers and Hill. Yet, there were also tracks produced by Carlos Santana himself, including the opener “(Da Le) Yaleo” and “The Calling” (which featured Clapton). The two breakout singles were the chart-toppers “Smooth” (with Rob Thomas) and “Maria Maria” (with the group the Product G&B).

Supernatural received mixed reviews from critics. While many gave it high marks, the album was criticized for having too many guest stars on the album. Rolling Stone perhaps put it more bluntly in their year-end review, stating that the honor of what is considered to be Santana’s best album, will go not to Supernatural, but to their first four albums (including their 1969 self-titled debut and 1970s Abraxas). Yet, the phenomenal success of Supernatural proved that a rock legend was still going strong.

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