Evil Ways

Album: Santana (1969)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a woman makes the singer feel like a fool - he seems jealous and upset that she is hanging out with her friends while he doesn't get any attention, and warns her that he will leave if this behavior continues.
  • This was originally recorded by Willie Bobo in 1965; it was written by Bobo's guitarist, Sonny Henry. Bobo was Latin Jazz percussionist who was a big influence on Santana and played on some of their tracks in the late '70s. "He was one of the first guys who tried to merge Latin music and blues together on record," Carlos Santana said in The Guitar Greats by John Tobler and Stuart Grundy. "He did it before us, because we were doing it on the street, and he was already doing it on records."
  • Gregg Rolie, who joined Journey in 1973, sang lead on this. Carlos Santana, whom the band is named after, rarely took lead vocals but got plenty of guitar solos. His solo in this song is about 90 seconds long.
  • Santana made a huge impact at the Woodstock festival, where they included "Evil Ways" in their set. They hadn't released their first album yet, but had made a name for themselves playing live shows on the West Coast. Their manager, Bill Graham, got them on the bill, playing the same day as their San Francisco cohorts The Grateful Dead. Their first album, Santana, was released two weeks later amid the raft of positive press from Woodstock. The rhythmic chant track "Jingo" was issued as the first single from the album, reaching #56 in the US. "Evil Ways" was the next single, and it climbed to #9.

Comments: 5

  • Barry from New York, NcA new version from Woodstock was recently discovered and included in the new Santana re-release. Apparently Carlos' guitar was out of tune so some recent overdubs were recorded in order to fix the problem.
  • Carlos from Antofagasta, ChileThis song was sampled by the rapper Mellow Man Ace on his spanglish hit "Mentirosa". Man Ace sampled "Tom Sawyer" from Rush also, in the same CD "Escape from Habana".
  • Camylle from Kent, WaI LOVE THIS SONG! I wasn't sure who sang this, but I had a hunch it was Santana.
  • Todd from Atlanta, GaGilda Radner, in character as Roseanne Rosannadanna on SNL, did a hysterical version of this song about Bo Derek that she attributed to "her musically happening cousin, Carlos Santana Rosannadanna."
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaThank you! I've been wondering for 38 years who sang that song! I just knew it wasn't Carlos.
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