Alex Wong, Getty Last week, Nelly's stop at the Sierra Blanca border in Texas…
- Posted on Oct 28th 2010 4:00PM by Steve Baltin
Lester Cohen, WireImage
Carlos Santana and Clive Davis have made musical history with a partnership that has spanned over four decades. "We started together, I signed the original Santana band, we went through a great career with 'Evil Ways,' 'Oye Como Va,' 'Black Magic Woman,' others," Davis tells Spinner. The two then reteamed more than 20 years later for 'Supernatural,' the duets album that was such a success, it even caught Davis by surprise.
"The explosion could not have been foreseen by either of us. We had set a blueprint. We had a gentlemen's agreement, just a handshake. I would organically come up with six songs that he felt that he could Santana-ize, brand new songs, and that's what came out, 'Smooth' and 'Maria Maria.' Then he would go into his incredible body of work and collaborate," Davis says. "Lo and behold, this album struck a chord in millions all over the world. It sold 28 million copies. It is now the sixth best-selling worldwide album of all time."
Now, the two have collaborated again on 'Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of all Time,' another duets album that features Santana covering songs by the best axemen in history. So, what is the key to their rapport? "Bill Graham was the person that would say, 'If you want to see the Grateful Dead, you gotta see Miles Davis,'" Santana says. "I learned so much in this laboratory. I equate Bill Graham and Clive Davis. It's like watching these scientists put these things together with elements of vision and inspiration and colors and songs and writers and producers."
Santana gives full credit for the new album to his longtime friend. "Being a part of Clive Davis' vision -- because this is his vision from beginning, middle and end -- I feel really grateful and honored that he pursued it with a lot of intensity and diligently," Santana says.
For Davis, this album was just the next progression in their musical history. "I felt we should take a breather from that three-and-a-half-minute rat race and in this world of electronic programming, drum machines and programmed keyboards, let's get back to the honesty of celebrating the rock instrument, the guitar," he says. "And who better to do it than Carlos? We could have one album for everybody who loves the guitar as many of the greatest guitar classics of all time."