Caravanserai (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 11, 1972
RecordedFebruary 21–May 5, 1972
StudioColumbia Studios, San Francisco, California
GenreJazz fusion, Latin rock
ProducerCarlos Santana, Michael Shrieve
Santana chronology
Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!
Love Devotion Surrender
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[2]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[4]

Caravanserai is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Santana, released on October 11, 1972.


Caravanserai marked a major turning point in Carlos Santana's career as it was a sharp departure from his critically acclaimed first three albums. Original bass guitarist David Brown left the group in 1971 and was replaced by Doug Rauch and Tom Rutley, while Armando Peraza replaced original percussionist Michael Carabello after his departure. During this period, Santana's relationship with longtime keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie rapidly deteriorated; consequently, keyboardist Tom Coster performed on one song before replacing Rolie shortly after the album's release.

The sound contrasted greatly with Santana's trademark fusion of salsa, rock, and jazz, and concentrated mostly on jazz-like instrumental passages. All but three tracks were instrumentals; the album is the first among a series of Santana albums that were known for their increasing musical complexity, marking a move away from the popular rock format of the early Santana albums toward a more contemplative and experimental jazz sound. While Caravanserai is regarded as an artistic success, the musical changes that began on its release in 1972 marked the start of a slide in Santana's commercial popularity; this album was mixed and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.

In a 2013 interview, drummer and album co-producer Michael Shrieve recalled Columbia Records President Clive Davis, upon first hearing the finished album, telling Carlos he was committing "career suicide".

It was the last Santana album to feature Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon, who went on to co-found Journey the following year.

Release and promotion[edit]

The lead single, "Song of the Wind", was released in 1974 with little fanfare; the album was released on October 11, 1972, and reached number eight in the Billboard 200 chart and number six in the R&B Albums chart in 1972.[5]

Santana started touring just a month before the release of Caravanserai; this tour, called the Caravanserai Tour, spanned the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania and lasted from September 1972 to December 1973. The set lists from the previous tours were revamped, as the band played songs from the album and numbers that had yet to be released. Only instrumentals were played in 1972 because the group didn't have a lead singer; the band played their first concerts in Asia, Oceania, and Latin America during this tour, and the shows on 3 and 4 July 1973 at the Osaka Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan in Osaka, Japan were released as the triple vinyl LP Lotus.

In 2000 SME records in Japan, part of Sony Music, also released the remastered version as an SACD;[6] this disc is stereo only, and furthermore, it is a single layer SACD, which means that ordinary CD players will not play it.

The album was remastered in 2003 for rerelease on Legacy/Columbia/SME.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation" (instrumental)Tom Rutley, Neal Schon, Michael Shrieve4:28
2."Waves Within" (instrumental)Doug Rauch, Gregg Rolie, Carlos Santana3:54
3."Look Up (To See What's Coming Down)" (instrumental)Rauch, Rolie, Santana3:00
4."Just in Time to See the Sun"Rolie, Santana, Shrieve2:18
5."Song of the Wind" (instrumental)Rolie, Santana, Schon6:04
6."All the Love of the Universe"Santana, Schon7:40
Side two
7."Future Primitive" (instrumental)José Areas, Mingo Lewis4:12
8."Stone Flower"Antônio Carlos Jobim (music)
Santana, Shrieve (lyrics)
9."La Fuente del Ritmo" (instrumental)Lewis4:34
10."Every Step of the Way" (instrumental)Shrieve9:05
Total length:51:21

On the Q8 quad version,[7] "Song of the Wind" and "La Fuente"—the next to last tracks on each side of the LP—were traded to even the timing for the tape.


  • Carlos Santana – lead guitar (2-4, 8, 9), guitar (5, 6, 10), vocals (4, 6, 8), percussion (1, 8),
  • Neal Schon – guitar (1,3-6,8-10)
  • Gregg Rolie – organ (2-6,8,10), electric piano (6), vocals (4), piano
  • Douglas Rauch – bass (2-6), guitar (2-3)
  • Douglas Rodrigues – guitar (2)
  • Wendy Haas – piano (1,8)
  • Tom Rutley – acoustic bass (1,6,8-10)
  • Michael Shrieve – drums (1-6,8-10), percussion, vocals (8)
  • José "Chepito" Areas – percussion, congas (7), timbales (2-4,6-7,9-10), bongos (8)
  • James Mingo Lewis – percussion (1,8-9), congas (2-10), bongos (7), vocals (6), acoustic piano (9)
  • Armando Peraza – percussion (8), bongos (9)
  • Hadley Caliman – saxophone intro (1), flute (10)
  • Rico Reyes – vocals (6)
  • Lenny White – castanets (6)
  • Tom Coster – electric piano (9)
  • Tom Harrell – orchestra arrangement (10)


  • Produced by Carlos Santana & Mike Shrieve
  • Recorded & engineered by Glen Kolotkin & Mike Larner
  • Recorded at Columbia Studios, San Francisco, California March, April, & May 1972
April 6, recorded All the Love of the Universe


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[8] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[9] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[10] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Caravanserai". Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Gleason, Ralph J. (8 December 1976). "Santana: Caravanserai : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Santana: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Caravanserai - Santana | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Santana - Caravanserai".
  7. ^ "Santana: Caravanserai [SQ/Q8]".
  8. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Santana – Caravanserai". Music Canada.
  9. ^ "French album certifications – Santana – Caravanserai" (in French). InfoDisc. Select SANTANA and click OK. 
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Santana – Caravanserai". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.