Seven months in the making, and appearing two-and-a-half years after Santana's last album, Beyond Appearances was produced by Val (Bette Davis Eyes) Garay in a hot 1980s style, replete with prominent synthesizers and drum machines. In the interim, the band had undergone changes, with Alphonso Johnson replacing David Margen on bass, Chester D. Thompson and David Sancious replacing Richard Baker on keyboards, Chester Cortez Thompson replacing Graham Lear on drums, and singer Greg Walker rejoining. Garay co-wrote "Say It Again" (#46), Santana's final Hot 100 entry until "Smooth" in 1999 (a remake of Curtis Mayfield's "I'm The One Who Loves You" hit #102), but this latest pop interpretation of the Santana sound did not endear it to fans, and, at a peak of Number 50, Beyond Appearances was the lowest charting Santana album yet.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann