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Carlos Santana branches out with Tina Turner duet

July 24, 2007|Nekesa Mumbi Moody | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Carlos Santana's song "Game of Love" with Michelle Branch was a huge hit and even won the pair a Grammy. Still, for years, Santana wished that fans could have heard the original version -- with Tina Turner as his duet partner.

In October, the guitar god will get his wish.

Included on the release of "Ultimate Santana," a greatest-hits disc, will be the "Game of Love" song -- one version featuring Branch, and one featuring Turner.

"Queens come and go -- there's only one Tina Turner," Santana said in an interview. "I love Michelle, and she did a great interpretation of it. It's just that with all honor and respect to Michelle, there's the girl and there's the woman, and Michelle is unfolding into a woman ... but it takes time to go from a girl to a woman."

The hit song was originally included on Santana's 2002 disc "Shaman," the follow-up to his multi-Grammy, multi-platinum disc "Supernatural." Santana had asked Turner to sing on the song, and she obliged and recorded the vocals to the track.

But Santana says that executives at his record label at the time apparently weren't interested in having Turner on the track.

In the interim, he found Branch, and he says she did a great job.

"But my heart was always set because I heard Tina first," he says.

Santana says he sent Turner flowers and messages, and was elated that she decided to allow their version to appear on the greatest-hits disc. He says her version is still his favorite.

"No one can hit a note like Tina Turner," he says.

"The Ultimate Santana," out Oct. 16, features some of his old classics, including "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va," along with his newer classics, such as "Smooth" with Rob Thomas.

This is not the 60-year-old Santana's first greatest-hits disc -- there have been several released over his decades-long career. But Santana says each collection is like a fingerprint. "They are all unique and individual."

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