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About War

The LA soul-funk band War were responsible for seven Top 10 hits in the 1970s, including “Low Rider,” plus the best-selling album of 1973, The World Is a Ghetto. • The musicians comprising War first played together in various Los Angeles-area bands in the ’60s, including one called Nightshift that backed the football star Deacon Jones. • In 1969, former Animals singer Eric Burdon joined up with Nightshift members Howard E. Scott, Lee Oskar, Thomas “Papa Dee” Allen, Charles Miller, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, and Harold Ray Brown. They began performing as War, and their first album, 1970’s Eric Burdon Declares “War”, went Top 20 and yielded the No. 3 single “Spill the Wine.” • War’s first performance in London, in September 1970, was also Jimi Hendrix’s last. The guitar legend sat in with the group the night before his death. • Burdon bowed out of War after a debilitating asthma attack while on tour in Europe, though they had already recorded a second album. The Black-Man’s Burdon came out late in 1970. • With Burdon out of the picture, War released a self-titled album 1971 that barely cracked the Billboard 200 albums chart. Later that year, War released All Day Music, the first of four consecutive gold albums, all of which went Top 20. • War’s fifth album, 1972’s The World Is a Ghetto, spent 68 weeks on Billboard 200, including two at No. 1. The album included a pair of Top 10 hits: the title track reached No. 7, while “The Cisco Kid” peaked at No. 2. • Two of War’s most popular songs came from their 1975 LP Why Can’t We Be Friends: the title track reached No. 6, and “Low Rider” made it to No. 7. • After releasing the poorly performing 1976 LP Love Is All Around, a collection of previously unreleased songs recorded with Burdon in the band’s early years, War returned to the Top 20 with another 1976 album, Platinum Jazz (No. 6), and 1977’s Galaxy (No. 15). • War were beset by line-up changes and declining commercial fortunes in the ’80s, when their highest charting album was 1982’s Outlaw, which stalled out at No. 48. • In a nod to War’s influence on hip-hop, the band approved the 1992 compilation Rap Declares War, featuring samples of War’s music in songs by De La Soul, The Beastie Boys, Too $hort, and Brand Nubian, among others. • In 2008, Burdon reunited with War—featuring Jordan as the lone original member—onstage in London. It was their first performance together since 1970. Jordan’s new version of War released the album Evolutionary in 2014.

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