12/9/15 – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – Black Magic Woman – 1968 / Live in Boston 1970 / Santana – Black Magic Woman – Single Version – 1970/ Album Version – (including Gábor Szabó’s Gypsy Queen) – 1970 / Video Version – 1971

Fleetwood Mac - Black Magic WomanPlease no, not again, anything but that! Change the station, I really can’t hear this song again! Stairway To Heaven, Won’t get Fooled Again, Smoke On The Water, Sweet Home Alabama, Hotel California – please lord don’t make me listen to them again.

Peter Green’s Black Magic Woman falls firmly into the above category and if you think it’s bad having to hear the song over and over again, imagine what it’s like having to play it. The curse of your own success reduces you to impersonating your former creative self in laborious, relentless repeats of watered down versions of the original brilliant idea conjured up in a moment of divine inspiration. Don’t play those soul crushing classics and ignite the wrath of the audience that put you there, an audience that demands the genius of your past but rejects the possibility of your ability to equal your past masterpiece with anything contemporary. Tragic.

Black Magic Woman was released by Fleetwood Mac in 1968 reaching No.37 on the UK chart, it was another Peter Green classic. But it was Santana’s version released as a single in 1970 from his second album Abraxas that introduced the song into popular consciousness, reaching No.4 on the US charts, the album selling five million copies and featuring Gregg Rolie on vocals and Neil Schon on guitar, later members of mega-selling AOR monsters Journey

So what are we to do with something as Tim Hardin might have put it “too lovely to leave alone”? Ultimately its specialness is worn away until it becomes what’s known as a standard. So I apologise in advance for subjecting you to it one more time but once this song was rather special and if you can transport yourself to its era, you can try and imagine how it must have sounded the first year of its release before a million plays on the radio and 10 million plays by your local cover band made you tune out instead of tuning in.