Santana & Steve Winwood Cover ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’

Listen to the take on the Procol Harum classic from Santana's upcoming 'Blessings And Miracles' album.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 21, 2021 7:48 am PDT

Santana joined forces with Steve Winwood for a cover of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale.” The track appears on Santana’s forthcoming Blessings And Miracles album which is set for release through BMG on October 15.

Blessings And Miracles finds legendary guitarist Carlos Santana collaborating with such artists, writers and producers as Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Rick Rubin, Living Colour’s Corey Glover and the late Chick Corea. The 15-track LP features members of the Santana touring band including drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, singer Tommy Anthony, bassist Benny Rietveld, percussionist Karl Perazzo and keyboardist David K. Matthews.

Santana previously previewed the album with singles “Move” and “She’s Fire.” The former features Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and American Authors’ Zac Barnett, while the latter includes contributions from Diane Warren and G-Eazy. “The title of this album comes from my belief that we’re born with heavenly powers that allow us to create blessings and miracles,” Carlos said regarding Blessings And Miracles. “The world programs you to be unworthy of those gifts, but we have to utilize light, spirit and soul – they’re indestructible and immutable. Those are the three main elements on this album.”

Procol Harum originally released “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” as their debut single in 1967. Santana brought up the idea of recording a cover of the song to Steve Winwood while they were at a show held at Hyde Park in London. “I said, ‘You and I have to do it, but we’re going to do it very sexy, like a Hare Krishna but with congas,’” Carlos recalled. “I played the components in his ear, and he said, ‘I hear it, Carlos. You’re right.’ So that’s what we did – it’s Santana, Cuban, Puerto Rican in an African way. And man, you talk about sexy. Steve’s voice is so sexy and beautiful.”

“Carlos has been doing what I’ve been trying to do for the last fifty years, namely combining elements of rock, jazz, folk, and Latin Afro-Caribbean music,” added Steve Winwood. “Carlos’ genius comes in large part from a wonderful combination of rock music with Latin-Cuban rhythms. I’ve played with Carlos on numerous occasions over the past fifty years and I’m very excited to be working with him again still.”

Hear Santana’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale” featuring Steve Winwood below:

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