No. 58, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 202, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000;
No. 207, Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 244, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time.
No. 13, Rolling Stone, The 100 Greatest Album Covers.
Album cover from a painting by Mati Klarwein. Album produced by Fred Catero & Carlos Santana. CBS 1970.
Abraxas was a word of mystic meaning in the system of the Gnostic Basilides, being there applied to the "Great Archon", the princeps of the 365 spheres. The word is found in Gnostic
texts such as the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, and also appears in the Greek Magical Papyri. It was engraved on certain antique gemstones, called on that account
Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. As the initial spelling on stones was 'Abrasax', the spelling of 'Abraxas' seen today probably originates in the confusion
made between the Greek letters Sigma and Xi in the Latin transliteration.
The seven letters spelling its name may represent each of the seven classic planets. The word may be related to Abracadabra, although other explanations exist.
There are similarities and differences between such figures in reports about Basilides's teaching, ancient Gnostic texts, the larger Greco-Roman magical traditions, and modern
magical and esoteric writings. Opinions abound on Abraxas, who in recent centuries has been claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon. The Swiss psychiatrist
Carl Jung wrote a short Gnostic treatise in 1916 called The Seven Sermons to the Dead, which called Abraxas the supreme power of being transcending both God and
devil and unites all opposites into one being. Wiki
Abraxas was deemed "culturally, historically, or artistically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in their National Recording Registry in 2016.
The San Francisco Bay Area brock scene of the late '60s bwas one that encouraged radical experimentation and discouraged the type of mindless conformity that's often
plagued corporate rock. When one considers just how different Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and the Grateful Dead sounded, it becomes obvious just
how much it was encouraged. In the mid-'90s, an album as eclectic as Abraxas would be considered a marketing exec's worst nightmare. But at the dawn of
the 1970s, this unorthodox mix of rock, jazz, salsa, and blues proved quite successful. Whether adding rock elements to salsa king Tito Puente's
"Oye Como Va," embracing instrumental jazz-rock on "Incident at Neshabur" and "Samba Pa Ti," or tackling moody blues-rock on Fleetwood Mac's
"Black Magic Woman," the band keeps things unpredictable yet cohesive. Many of the Santana albums that came out in the '70s are worth
acquiring, but for novices, Abraxas is an excellent place to start. AllMusic review by Alex Henderson.