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Santana - Marathon CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.81 | 84 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Marathon is probably Santanas most obscure album from the 70´s, and with a good reason. 1979 was probably the most difficult year for classic rock: disco was still a dominating sound , even if it was also fading fast, while critics and rock journalists in general were still spellbound by punk and new wave bands. Like most american bands of the period Santana seemed to take the AOR/melodic rock road that so many other USA bands at the time. In fact, in several tracks from this CD the main influence was a band that included two former Santana members: Journey. Gregg Rollie, Neal Schon and co were by now riding high on the charts after they recruited a new singer, one Steve Perry. So it made some sense the similarities (just listen to You Know That I Love You, the only single released from this album, a typical Journey tune).

So the band had now a singer in the same mold as Perry´s: Alex Lingwood. Like Perry, Lingwood had a tremendous voice that fits perfectly for the new style. Of course the album comes across as very uncharacteristically, although previous year´s Inner Secrets was pointing in that direction already: The latin percussion is kept to a minimum, you hardly hear a conga, there is only two short instrumentals and Carlos Santana guitar playing never sounded so american. The production is very smooth and, unlike several other groups that try to jump into the bandwagon, the songs are generally very good and the performances are impeccable. In other words, they sound convincing, at least most of the time. Just don´t expect the jazz/rock fusion of Welcome or Borboletta, neither their latin/jazz/rock crossover of their early days. This is a very good AOR record, but nothing more. And for some reason it stood well the test of time and is still very enjoyable when I listen to it.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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