Still riding high on both the commercial and critical success of Abraxas, with it’s lasting hits “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Como Va,” and “Samba Pa Ti,” Santana quickly released a third album. The eponymous titled Santana is usually referred to as Santana III, in order to avoid confusion with the band’s first release, also called Santana but often dubbed Santana by Santana.

One of the most memorable songs from this album is “No One To Depend On,” a classic Santana rocker that still holds up today. The song features the ubiquitous gang vocals (popularized earlier on songs like “Evil Ways”), but later brings in harmonies — sung in Spanish — in a traditional “call and response” format.

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Latin-Rock Video

Check out the new video for this guitar and percussion-driven song by the leading Santana Tribute and Latin-rock band.

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Lyrically and harmonically the composition is simple, but, as in many Santana songs, the clever arrangement brings it to life. Starting softly with the guitar and electric piano riff, it quickly explodes into the main musical motif, played in harmony by Carlos and a newly added Neal Schon.

Once they hit the middle section, a driving guitar lick (also played in call and response format by Santana and Schon), leads into a solo section that has the two axemen vying for supremacy. Schon, in particular, gives a bang up performance — displaying a hint of the style that he would later refine to great success with Journey.

No One To Depend On was written by Gregg Rolie along with percussionists Michael Carabello and Thomas “Coke” Escovedo. (Coke is uncle to the famous Sheila E., and was one of the players who filled in temporarily for the ailing Jose “Chepito” Areas.) Written in Gm (one of Carlos Santana’s favorite keys to play in), it takes its key line, “Ain’t got nobody,” from an earlier song by Willie Bobo called “Spanish Grease.” Bobo was a big influence on Carlos, and it was his earlier version of Evil Ways that Santana covered on their debut album.

Displaying Santana’s unique blend of rock/blues guitar and Latin-percussion-fueled rhythms, No One To Depend On continued the flavor that made the songs from both Abraxas and Santana by Santana so popular. As such, it ht number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and remains a Santana favorite.

A live version was re-released on 1993’s Sacred Fire: Live in South America; this version is faster than the original, and emphasizes Carlos’ guitar while de-emphasizing the guitar harmonies. Although Carlos’ brother Jorge Santana provides a second guitar, the middle section consists of Carlos trading licks with Chester Thompson on the organ.

No One To Depend On Lyrics

I ain’t got nobody
that I can depend on

Ain’t got no one
(No tengo a nadie)
That I know of
(No tengo a nadie)
That I can depend
(No tengo a nadie)

I ain’t got nobody
(No tengo a nadie)
That I can depend on
(No tengo a nadie)

No One To Depend On Chords

Gm – C

Gm – C – Gm

Solo Section
C – Gm

Click here to watch Santana “No On To depend on” Video