5 Top 40 Hits with Santana
HITS (With Santana, Journey, &
Gregg Rolie is responsible for co-founding two phenomenally popular, multi-platinum many times over super groups... SANTANA and JOURNEY. In 1998, this world class musician, writer, producer was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame as the original voice of the Santana band. In addition to launching- along with Carlos Santana- the now legendary act, Rolie also co-produced their first four groundbreaking albums. His singing talents will forever be immortalized by his unforgettable lead vocals on the classic Santana hits "Black Magic Woman" "Evil Ways" and "Oye Como Va".
Thirty-five years after Gregg and Carlos fortuitously met in San Fancisco, the year 2001 marked the release of Rolie’s third solo album ROOTS, featuring the lead track "Give It To Me". The first-ever release on Bay Area-based Tower Records’ new proprietary label 33rd Street, and Rolie’s first CD following a several year personal hiatus. ROOTS finds Gregg revisiting the incredible brew of sounds he helped conjure up in the late ‘60’s. Recalling those heady days, he remembers "It was an amazing time. We created something that no one could fathom…it was about the rhythms and solos more than the songs. It wasn’t Latin music, rock music, the blues—not any of the above. It was a combination of all of them". Rolie calls ROOTS’ twelve original selections "Latin rock plus…the instrumentation is Latin percussion, with organ, guitar, horns, and lots of great solo work and songwriting", adding that "I really wanted to go all the way back to my Santana roots".
Those auspicious roots officially began in the late ‘60s and flowered amazingly in 1969, the year Santana’s self-titled debut album was released just weeks after the band gave an electrifying performance at Woodstock. Rolie calls the documentary film made of that landmark concert "the mother of all music Videos", and the event did indeed skyrocket Santana into instant worlwide renown. Their second album, the quadruple-platinum, hit packed Abraxas, remains Gregg’s favorite from his tenure with the band, and features many of the lead vocals he is best known for.
After choosing to part ways with Santana after album
number four, Rolie went immediately on to establish Journey with fellow
ex-Santana mate, guitarist Neal Schon, in 1972. In its original incarnation,
Journey delivered a unique jazz-rock amalgam that spotlighted solo
instrumental work more than vocals. In addition to once again lending
his considerable vocal and keyboard prowess to the endeavor, Rolie
co-wrote and co-produced the band’s first seven albums, and credits the Journey era with
substantially honing his songwriting skills, a strength clearly evident
on ROOTS’ outstanding repertoire. Rolie toured extensively with
Journey, remaining on throughout multiple personnel changes, including
the 1978 addition of Steve Perry as lead vocalist ("We were now
writing for singers instead of solos", says Rolie) before exiting
after the hugely successful 1981 live double album Captured.
During the ‘80’s Rolie played, wrote and produced on the Santana albums Shango and Freedom, and released his debut, self-titled 1985 solo album and its 1987 follow-up Gringo, before co-founding the all-new Journe-esque rock group The Storm at the tail end of the decade. The Storm released two albums ‘92’s eponymous disc that yielded the #13 Billboard Hot 100 hit "I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love" and ‘96’s Eye Of the Storm. That same year, Rolie, along with five other original Santana members, formed Abraxas Pool, a spirited collaboration that resulted in a 1997 critically acclaimed album of the same name.