You may be wondering if any of Santana’s songs have been featured in motion pictures. The answer is a resounding yes. Some of the film titles may be recognizable while others remain obscure. Even if you don’t recall the movies you are likely to know who the actors are. This is a look at some of Santana’s greatest songs that are in soundtracks whether exclusively on celluloid or included in the record album form. Listed is the film titles followed by song descriptions from Santana and more information about the films.
“Bella” is a soft rock and smooth jazz instrumental from his 1987 album “Blues for Salvador.” The song has been considered one of his best during his mostly forgotten ‘80s recordings. It may not be as memorable as Santana’s other classic instrumentals such as “Samba Pa Ti” and “Europa.” He wrote this as a love song to his daughter. “Desperado” is the 1995 sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi.” It stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.
“Woodstock” and “Zodiac”
It’s the instrumental performance that shook the Woodstock music festival after the extensive skinny dipping segment with concertgoers. “Soul Sacrifice” was featured front and center in the concert documentary film that catapulted Santana into international fame in 1970. This also comes from their 1969 eponymous debut album. “Soul Sacrifice” is appropriately featured for this 2007 film based on the real life Zodiac serial killer during July 1969 and into the ‘70s in San Francisco. Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey, Jr. portray the investigative reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
“The Fan” and “Digging to China”
Robert DeNiro stars in this 1996 thriller about an obsessed fan over a baseball player (Wesley Snipes) for the San Francisco Giants. Kevin Bacon and Rachel Evan Wood star in a film from 1998 about a 10-year old girl (Evan Wood) who dreams of escaping her life. Each of these films feature another of Santana’s best known instrumental songs “Samba Pa Ti.” It comes from their second album “Abraxas.”
“I’ll Be Waiting” comes from Santana’s “Moonflower” album released in 1977. It’s part of the soundtrack from the film about the failed Apollo 13 moon mission in 1970. This true story stars Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon. “Apollo 13” came out in 1995.