Santana – Black Magic Woman

Santana – Black Magic Woman

‘Black Magic Woman’ is a song written by British musician Peter Green, which first appeared as a single for the band Fleetwood Mac in 1968. In 1970, the song was released as the first single from Santana's album Abraxas. The song, as sung by Gregg Rolie, reached number four on the US and Canadian charts, and its chart success made Santana's recording the better-known version of the song.

Peter Green wrote ‘Black Magic Woman’ in 1968, with lyrics inspired by his former girlfriend, Sandra Elsdon, whom Green had nicknamed "Magic Mamma". Green has acknowledged that ‘Black Magic Woman’ was musically influenced by ‘All Your Love’, an Otis Rush song that had been recorded two years earlier by Green's former band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Green said in Peter Green: The Biography: "One of things Mayall said was that if you really like something, you should take the first lines and make up another song from them. So, that's what I did with 'Black Magic Woman'."

Many music fans don't know that Santana started out as a blues band, just like Fleetwood Mac. "I used to go to see the original Fleetwood Mac, and they used to kill me, just knock me out," Carlos Santana said in the book The Guitar Greats. "To me, they were the best blues band." Santana put their own spin on the song, incorporating Latin textures, but they kept the basic sound from the original intact.

Santana's version, recorded in 1970, is a medley with Gábor Szabó's 1966 instrumental ‘Gypsy Queen’, a mix of jazz, Hungarian folk and Latin rhythms. The song became one of Santana's staples and one of their biggest hits, with the single spending 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaking at number four in January 1971, their highest-peaking Hot 100 hit until 1999’s ‘Smooth’. Santana's 1970 album, Abraxas, reached no. 1 on the charts and hit quadruple platinum in 1986, partially thanks to ‘Black Magic Woman’. The royalties generated by Santana's cover of this song helped sustain the song's writer, Peter Green, after he left Fleetwood Mac. Green gave most of his money away when he left the band, and would have found himself destitute later in the '70s if he didn't get checks from his old hits.

Label – Columbia
Songwriters – Peter Green ("Black Magic Woman"), Gábor Szabó ("Gypsy Queen")
Producers – Fred Catero, Carlos Santana


[Verse 1]
Got a black magic woman
Got a black magic woman
I got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can't see
That she's a black magic woman
She's tryin' to make a Devil out of me
[Verse 2]
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
Stop messin' 'round with your tricks
Don't turn your back on me baby
You just might pick up my magic sticks
[Verse 3]
Got your spell on me baby
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
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