“Evil Ways” is a song by Santana from their 1969 album Santana

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Evil Ways” is a song by Santana from their 1969 album Santana. It was written by Clarence (Sonny) Henry and recorded by jazz percussionist Willie Bobo in 1968 on his album of the same name. The song is in simple verse form. Next year it was recorded by Santana.

Released as a single in late 1969, it became the band’s first top forty and top ten hit in the U.S., peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Gregg Rolie performs the lead vocals and plays a Hammond organ solo in the middle section. The double-time coda includes a guitar solo performed by Carlos Santana.

“Evil Ways” is about a girl who is spiteful. “You’ve got to change your evil ways, baby/Before I stop lovin’ you.” She tries to make her boyfriend jealous by associating with her friends. “You hangin’ ’round, baby/With Jean and Joan and-a who-knows-who.”

Some radio stations play edit versions of the song, cutting a few bars from the introduction, parts of the organ instrumental portion in the middle, and the coda, shortening the guitar improvisation by fading the song out earlier, part of this reason is to make it more for AM radio use, than for progressive rock use.

Lyrics:

You’ve got to change your evil ways, baby,
before I stop lovin’ you.
You’ve got to change, baby,
and every word that I say is true.
You got me runnin’ and hidin’ all over town,
you got me sneakin’ and a-peepin’ and runnin’ you down.
This can’t go on, Lord knows you got to change, baby.

When I come home, baby,
my house is dark and my pots are cold.
You’re hangin’ round, baby,
with Jean and Joan and-a who knows who.
I’m gettin’ tried of waitin’ and foolin’ around,
I’ll find somebody who won’t make me feel like a clown.
This can’t go on, Lord knows you got to change, baby.

When I come home, baby,
my house is dark and my pots are cold.
You’re hangin’ round, baby,
with Jean and Joan and-a who knows who.
I’m gettin’ tried of waitin’ and foolin’ around,
I’ll find somebody who won’t make me feel like a clown.
This can’t go on, Lord knows you got to change, baby.

 

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