Smooth (Santana song)

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"Smooth"
Santanasmooth.jpg
Single by Santana featuring Rob Thomas
from the album Supernatural
Released June 29, 1999 (1999-06-29)
Format CD single
Recorded 1999
Genre
Length
  • 4:56 (album version)
  • 4:00 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Matt Serletic
Santana singles chronology
"Say It Again"
(1985)
"Smooth"
(1999)
"Maria Maria"
(1999)
Rob Thomas singles chronology
"Smooth"
(1999)
"A New York Christmas"
(2003)

"Smooth" is a collaboration between Latin rock band Santana and Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas. The song was written by Thomas, and Itaal Shur, produced by Matt Serletic and sung by Thomas. It won three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Not only was it the final number-one Hot 100 hit of the 1990s, it was also the number-two Hot 100 hit of the 20th century. "Smooth" is the only song to appear on two decade-end Billboard charts. As of 2018, "Smooth" is ranked the second most successful song of all time by Billboard.

Concept and background

"Smooth" was originally conceived by Shur as a song called "Room 17". The lyrics were stripped off and the track was given to Thomas, who re-wrote the lyrics and melody and re-titled it "Smooth", then recorded the song as a demo to play for Santana. After hearing the song, Santana decided to have Thomas record the final version.[1] Matt Serletic (who produced Matchbox Twenty's debut album Yourself or Someone Like You) produced the song and it was released from Santana's album Supernatural. Thomas originally had George Michael in mind to sing the song.[2]

Thomas wrote "Smooth" for his wife, Marisol Maldonado. He stated in interviews that the lyric "My Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa" was inspired by the 1972 Elton John song "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters",[citation needed] which includes references to the 1961 Ben E. King song "Spanish Harlem".

Chart performance

"Smooth" became a chart-topping hit in 1999, spending 12 consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 beginning with the October 23, 1999 issue. It was the first chart-topping song in Carlos Santana's long-running career (his previous biggest hit being "Black Magic Woman", which peaked at number four in 1971). The song stayed in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 for 30 weeks, a record only bested by "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes, "Closer" by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, and "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran. In the United Kingdom, "Smooth" first charted at number 75 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1999. On a full release in March 2000 it peaked at number 3, spending eight weeks in the top 40. The song also peaked at number 3 in Ireland in March 2000, spending ten weeks in the Irish Charts. It remains Santana's highest charting single in either Britain or Ireland.

"Smooth" also spent a record-breaking ten consecutive weeks at the top of the VSpot Top 20 Countdown, a record that held up until the Dixie Chicks broke it in 2006.

In popular culture

  • In January 2014, The Onion published a satirical article joking that "Smooth" had swept the Grammy Awards for 13 years in a row.[3]

Legacy

On Billboard magazine's rankings of the top songs of the first 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, "Smooth" was ranked as the number-two song overall (behind only "The Twist" by Chubby Checker)[4] and the number-one rock song in the history of the chart.[5]

In the 21st century, particularly during the summer of 2016, the song became popular as an internet meme.[6] Writing for MTV.com, Sasha Geffen compared the situation to similar resurgences of "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies, going on to attribute the song's popularity to "the merits of its vocal absurdity." She wrote, "There's something ridiculous about how eagerly Rob Thomas lays his earnest alt-rock croon over Santana's guitar, sweating out lines about how his 'Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa' is 'just like the ocean under the moon' without a hint of self-consciousness or irony'[7]. In 2017, Tanya Sichynsky of The Washington Post similarly opined that, "The opening lyric 'Man, it's a hot one,'... is a punch line that requires no set-up [8]. The song was featured on two tracks, "Melt Everyone" and "Smooth Flow", off of Neil Cicierega's 2014 mash-up album Mouth Sounds, and on two tracks, "Smooth" and "Shit", off of the 2017 follow-up album Mouth Moods.

Cover versions

Track listing

  1. "Smooth" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "El Farol" – 4:59

Remixes

  1. Chris Staropoli Remix – 3:53
  2. Club Mix – 7:29
  3. Club Mix [instrumental] – 7:29
  4. Melt Everyone – Neil Cicierega – 4:53

Credits and personnel

  • Carlos Santana – lead guitar
  • Rob Thomas – lead vocals
  • Chester Thompson – keyboards
  • Benny Rietveld – bass
  • Rodney Holmes – drums
  • Karl Perazzo – percussion
  • Raul Rekow – congas
  • Jeff Cressman – trombone
  • José Abel Figueroa – trombone
  • Julius Melendez – trumpet
  • William Ortiz – trumpet

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[31] 2× Platinum 140,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[33]
(physical)
Platinum 1,200,000[34]
United States (RIAA)[33]
(digital)
Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also

References

  1. ^ "Rob Thomas: Santana's Smooth Sidekick". VH1. December 2, 2002. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  2. ^ "Rob Thomas Reveals He Wrote 'Smooth' With George Michael In Mind". billboard.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-21.
  3. ^ "Santana And Rob Thomas' 'Smooth' Sweeps Grammy Awards For 13th Year in a Row". Archived from the original on 2014-01-26.
  4. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary – The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (10-01)". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  5. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary – Top Billboard Hot 100 Rock Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Dandashi, dahlia. "All summer 2016, we'll be jamming out to Santana's 'Smooth'". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  7. ^ Geffen, Sasha (15 August 2016). "The Enduring Power of 'smooth' by Santana Featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty". MTV.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. ^ Sichynski, Tanya. "Here's what the co-writer of 'Smooth' thinks about the song becoming a meme". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ "Santana feat. Rob Thomas: Smooth" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Musicline.de – Santana feat. Rob Thomas Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Santana feat. Rob Thomas" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Charts.nz – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Santana feat. Rob Thomas – Smooth". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Santana: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ a b c d "Smooth – Santana". Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  20. ^ "Santana Singles". Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 1999". ARIA. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 70, No. 8, December 13, 1999". RPM. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  23. ^ "Rock/Alternative – Volume 70, No. 8, December 13, 1999". RPM. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  24. ^ "End of Year Charts 1999". NZTop40. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1999". Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  26. ^ "Swiss year-end chart". swisscharts.com. 2000. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  27. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 2000". Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  28. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The Listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  29. ^ "Billboard best of the 2000s Hot 100 songs". Billboard. December 31, 2009. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  30. ^ "Hot 100 turns 60". Billboard. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  31. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Santana featuring Rob Thomas – Smooth". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Smooth in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ a b "American single certifications – Santana – Smooth". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  34. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1999". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 112 (4): 63. January 22, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
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