Black Magic Woman
“Black Magic Woman” is a song written by Peter Green that first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1968, subsequently appearing on the 1969 Fleetwood Mac compilation albums English Rose (US) and The Pious Bird of Good Omen (UK), as well as Vintage Years. In 1970, it became a classic hit by Santana, as sung by Gregg Rolie, reaching No. 4 in the U.S. and Canadian charts, after appearing on their Abraxas album. In 2005 the song was covered by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White on his album The Way It Is. In 1996, the song was also covered by Gary Hoey on his album Bug Alley.
Set in the key of D minor, the verse follows a twelve bar chord progression alternating between D minor7, A minor7, and G minor7, and the instrumentation consists of vocals, two guitars, bass guitar and drums. It is homophonic, the voice and lead guitar taking the lead roles. The song is set in common time (4/4), with the rhythm “pushing” on the upbeat, then breaking into a shuffle beat root -chord jam after the final verse.
D minor 7 | D minor 7 | A minor 7 | A minor 7 | D minor 7 | D minor 7 | G minor 7 | G minor 7 | Dm 7 – C 7 | Bb 7 – A 7 | D minor7 | D minor 7
The original recording by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featured guitars that were slightly below standard pitch, probably due to them being tuned to a piano or another guitar in the recording studio (very much reminiscent of The Rolling Stones). For most performances, it is played in standard, although to create a performance more faithful to the original recording, the low E string could be tuned down to D.
The haunting D minor triad from the 17 fret is played out on one guitar, and a slide guitar playing the same chord is faded in over the top.
Editors note; Singing lead vocals is Gregg Rolie and protege guitarist with bushy afro hair style and buckskin shirt, Neal Scheon both of which would team up to form Journey.