"Smooth"
Single by Santana featuring Rob Thomas
from the album Supernatural
B-side"El Farol"
ReleasedJune 29, 1999[1][2]
Recorded1998–1999
Genre
Length
  • 4:56 (album version)
  • 4:00 (radio edit)
Label
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)
Music video
"Smooth" on YouTube

"Smooth" is a collaboration between Latin rock band Santana and Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas. The song was written by Itaal Shur and Thomas, produced by Matt Serletic and sung by Thomas.[3] In the United States, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks; it was the final number-one hit of the 1990s and the first number-one hit of the 2000s. "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. It won three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The song reached number one in Canada and the top 10 in Australia, Austria, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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.[3][5] 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.[6]

Chart performance

By June 1, "Smooth" was leaked and played by some radio stations before its official release.[7] The single became a chart-topping hit in 1999, spending 12 consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 beginning with the week of October 23, 1999. It was the first chart-topping song in Carlos Santana's long-running career, rising higher than Santana's previous biggest hit, "Black Magic Woman", which peaked at number four in 1971. "Smooth" stayed in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 30 weeks and the top 100 for 58 weeks.[8]

In the United Kingdom, "Smooth" first charted at number 75 on the UK Singles Chart in October 1999. After a full release on March 20, 2000,[9] it peaked at number three, spending eight weeks in the top 40. The song also peaked at number three in Ireland in March 2000, spending ten weeks on the Irish Singles Chart. It remains Santana's highest-charting single in both the UK and Ireland. The song also peaked at number one in Canada for a week, number four in Australia, and number nine in Austria. It reached the top 40 in an additional seven countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

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[10] and the number-one rock song in the history of the chart.[11]

In the 21st century, particularly during the summer of 2016, the song became the subject of several internet memes.[12] 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." They 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".[4] 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."[13]

Track listing

"Smooth" Sample from "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas Problems playing this file? See media help.
  1. "Smooth" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "El Farol" – 4:59

Remixes

  1. Chris Staropoli Remix – 3:52
  2. Club Mix – 7:29
  3. Club Mix [instrumental] – 7:29

Credits and personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[63] 2× Platinum 140,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[66]
(physical)
Platinum 1,200,000[65]
United States (RIAA)[66]
(digital)
Gold 500,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions

In popular culture

This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources, rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2018)

See also

References

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  3. ^ a b c Browne, David (June 3, 2019). "Man, It's a Hot One: The Oral History of Santana and Rob Thomas' 'Smooth'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Geffen, Sasha (August 15, 2016). "The Enduring Power of 'smooth' by Santana Featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty". MTV. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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