Likewise, it’s hard to take on a song — “I Ain’t Superstitious” — that was previously knocked out of the park by a guitarist’s guitarist, Jeff Beck. However, Jonny Lang steps nicely into Rod Stewart’s shoes by delivering a powerful vocal performance.

Guitar Heaven CD
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After hearing the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival vocalist John Fogerty on an album, a reviewer once commented: “His voice was so powerful I imagined ‘The Hulk’ would sound like that if he sang.'” So it’s not surprising that Creed vocalist Scott Stapp turns in a performance that, while competent, doesn’t have nearly the drive of the original. And, as in Smoke On The Water, Carlos rambles through the song non-stop — even over the trademark riff in the beginning of the verses.

Ironically, the famous “Under The Bridge,” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was reminiscent of the early Santana sound — complete with raw, uneven guitar tones and emotional albeit technically unpolished vocals. Current Santana vocalist Andy Vargas sings the song fairly true to the original, but Santana’s glossy guitar tone is too much in evidence on this track.

Final analysis

From a marketing standpoint, the producers of this Santana CD made all the right choices: cover well-known rock guitar anthems, and pair the legendary Carlos Santana with a host of hot, current vocalists. Musically, it was not the best fit for the Latin-rock icon.

With some serious editing in the studio, this could have been a much stronger album. As in songs like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and the previous hit “Smooth,” Carlos is certainly capable of delivering memorable guitar hooks. But they need to be considered carefully and placed tastefully throughout the tracks. This album sounds too much like a jam session, and so doesn’t portray either the songs or the guitar playing in the best light.

Guitar Heaven Song Info

Song Featuring Original Band Writers
Whole Lotta Love Chris Cornell Led Zeppelin John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Willie Dixon
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking Scott Weiland The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Sunshine of Your Love Rob Thomas Cream Pete Brown, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton
While My Guitar Gently Weeps India.Arie & Yo-Yo Ma The Beatles George Harrison
Photograph Chris Daughtry Def Leppard Joe Elliott, Pete Willis, Steve Clark, Rick Savage, Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Back in Black Nas & Robyn Troup AC/DC Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson
Riders on the Storm Chester Bennington & Ray Manzarek The Doors Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore
Smoke on the Water Jacoby Shaddix Deep Purple Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice
Dance the Night Away Patrick Monahan Van Halen Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth
Bang a Gong Gavin Rossdale T. Rex Marc Bolan
Little Wing Joe Cocker Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix
I Ain’t Superstitious Jonny Lang Howlin’ Wolf Willie Dixon
Fortunate Son Scott Stapp Creedence Clearwater Revival John Fogerty
Under the Bridge Andy Vargas Red Hot Chili Peppers Michael Balzary, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith