Abraxas‘ [uh-brak-suhs] is the second studio album by the latin band Santana. Consolidating their live success at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and the interest generated by their first album the band took some time to issue a follow-up. Released in 1970, the album’s mix of rock, blues, jazz, salsa and other influences made it a classic that defined Santana’s early sound, and showed a musical maturation from their first album. The album’s cover features the 1961 painting ‘Annunciation,’ by Mati Klarwein.

Abraxas is the name of a deity in Gnostic cosmology. The title of the album comes from a line from Herman Hesse’s book ‘Demian.’ Abraxas is used as a symbol throughout the text, idealizing the harmonious union of all that is good and evil in the world. Demian argues that the Christian God is an insufficient god; it rules over all that is wholesome, but there is another half of the world. The symbol of Abraxas appears as a bird breaking free from an egg or a globe.


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