Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Santana: Santana's Greatest Hits [Columbia, 1974]
The problem with their albums turns out to be too complex to be solved by eliminating uninteresting tunes--which is a backhanded compliment to the complexity of their concept. In any case, this compilation reduces their music to a cross between pan-African blooze and Latin-metal pop. The fine (and, er, not so fine) cuts it showcases work better in their original contexts--as heads, lynchpins, focal points of improvisations that are not (yet?) what they should be. B-