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Black Magic Woman

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Black Magic Woman


Black Magic Woman became a classic hit by Santana in 1970. As sung by Gregg Rolie, reaching #4 in the U.S. and Canadian charts, after appearing on their Abraxas album. Gregg Alan Rolie (born June 17, 1947, Seattle) is an American keyboardist, organist, and singer, who is one of the founding members of the bands Santana, The Storm, Abraxas Pool and Journey, for whom he was the original lead singer.

Black Magic Woman

Actually, "Black Magic Woman" is a song written by Peter Green that first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1968, subsequently appearing on the 1969 Fleetwood Mac compilation albums English Rose (US) and The Pious Bird of Good Omen (UK).

Gregg Rolie


Peter Green (born 29 October 1946, Bethnal Green, London) is a British blues rock guitarist and the founder of the band Fleetwood Mac.

Along with Eric Clapton, Peter Green is often mentioned as one of the two best guitarists of the British blues boom of the mid-1960s to 1970. As the guiding impetus of the original lineup of Fleetwood Mac, Green wrote and performed a dazzling string of hits that by 1969 had outsold singles by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. While Clapton's playing has prompted comparisons to Freddy King and Albert King, Green's sound is considered to be more like the style of American blues legend B.B. King.

Peter Green


Although not as popular as Santana's arrangement two years later, "Black Magic Woman" nevertheless became a fairly popular blues-rock hit peaking at #37 in the UK Singles Chart. It was featured in Fleetwood Mac live set-lists even after Green had left the band.

Fleetwood Mac, 1969


Set in the key of D minor, the verse follows a twelve bar chord progression alternating between D minor7, A minor7, and G minor7, and the instrumentation consists of vocals, two guitars, bass guitar and drums. It is homophonic, the voice and lead guitar taking the lead roles. Mick Fleetwood called the original version "Three minutes of sustain/reverb guitar with 2 exquisite solos from Peter." The song is set in common time (4/4), with the rhythm "pushing" on the upbeat, then breaking into a shuffle beat root -chord jam after the final verse.

Fleetwood Mac - Black Magic Woman, single


Carlos Santana heard Peter Green perform "Black Magic Woman" at The Alembic Auditorium in San Francisco, in 1969.

Carlos Santana


Santana's version, recorded in 1970, is a medley with Gábor Szabó's 1966 "Gypsy Queen", a mix of jazz, Hungarian folk and Latin rhythms. Gábor Szabó (1936 – 1982) was born in Budapest. His playing incorporated elements of folk music from his native Hungary and rock music's use of feedback.

Gabor Szabo



While the song follows the same general structure of Peter Green's version, also set in common time, in D Dorian and using the same melody and lyrics, it is considerably different, with a slightly altered chord pattern (Dm7– Am7–Dm7–G7–Dm7–Am7–Dm7). A curious blend of blues, rock, jazz, 3/2 afro-Cuban son clave, and "Latin" polyrhythms, Santana's arrangement added conga, timbales and other percussion, in addition to organ and piano, to make complex polyrhythms that give the song a "voodoo" feel distinct from the original.

Black Magic Woman


Santana has played this song just about every concert since 1970. For this song's solo, Santana played across the Latin rhythm on his Gibson Les Paul Special through the amp and rode the volume knob throughout the track to add sustain and distortion as required.

Santana - Black Magic Woman, single


Abraxas reached #1 on the charts and hit quadruple platinum in 1986, partially thanks to "Black Magic Woman."

Album Abraxas


Black Magic Woman by Carlos Santana

I got a Black Magic Woman.
I got a Black Magic Woman.
Yes, I got a Black Magic Woman,
She's got me so blind I can't see;
But she's a Black Magic Woman and
she's trying to make a devil out of me.

Don't turn your back on me, baby.
Don't turn your back on me, baby.
Yes, don't turn your back on me, baby,
Don't mess around with your tricks;
Don't turn your back on me, baby,
'cause you might just wake up my magic sticks.

You got your spell on me, baby.
You got your spell on me, baby.
Yes, you got your spell on me, baby,
Turnin' my heart into stone;
I need you so bad,
Magic Woman I can't leave you alone.

Black Magic Woman

Last Updated (Saturday, 21 March 2015 14:31)


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