WAR

Latin Rock/Soul / RnB / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Jazz Related Rock / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop • United States
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Some reader’s eye might be popping out of their sockets when they see some names of great black music in our pages. Like Mandrill, Cymande , Osibisa and a few more “ethnic” acts, War had the “prog” phase, principally because they recorded the bulk of their material in the golden age (68-75) music.. Like many Afro-American groups recording during this era, they also decided to play longer tracks with some superb and sensual Latino-type music…. Everyone knows Burdon’s story with the succession of Animals groups (The Animals, Burdon and the Animals & Burdon And The New Animals), but by the time he’d resettled in the LA region, his “backing group” had grown from being a blues group, to a wild psych group, including Zoot Money (AKA George Bruno) and Andy Summers (fresh from being fired from Soft Machine and future The Police). The New Animals developed some dramatic psych read more...
Thanks to silent way for the addition and EZ Money, snobb for the updates

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Far Out / Hip-O 2011
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WAR Discography

WAR albums / top albums

WAR Eric Burdon Declares 3.26 | 3 ratings
Eric Burdon Declares "War"
Jazz Related Rock 1970
WAR The Black-Man's Burdon album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Black-Man's Burdon
RnB 1970
WAR All Day Music album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
All Day Music
Latin Rock/Soul 1971
WAR War album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
War
Latin Rock/Soul 1971
WAR The World Is a Ghetto album cover 4.02 | 6 ratings
The World Is a Ghetto
Latin Rock/Soul 1972
WAR Deliver the Word album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Deliver the Word
Latin Rock/Soul 1973
WAR Why Can't We Be Friends? album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Why Can't We Be Friends?
Latin Rock/Soul 1975
WAR War Featuring Eric Burdon : Love Is All Around album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
War Featuring Eric Burdon : Love Is All Around
RnB 1976
WAR Platinum Funk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Platinum Funk
Latin Rock/Soul 1977
WAR Galaxy album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Galaxy
Latin Rock/Soul 1977
WAR Youngblood (OST) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Youngblood (OST)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1978
WAR The Music Band album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Music Band
RnB 1979
WAR The Music Band 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Music Band 2
Latin Rock/Soul 1979
WAR Outlaw album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Outlaw
Latin Rock/Soul 1982
WAR Life (Is So Strange) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Life (Is So Strange)
Latin Rock/Soul 1983
WAR The Music Band Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Music Band Jazz
RnB 1983
WAR Where There's Smoke album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Where There's Smoke
RnB 1985
WAR Peace Sign album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Peace Sign
Latin Rock/Soul 1994
WAR Evolutionary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Evolutionary
RnB 2014

WAR EPs & splits

WAR live albums

WAR War Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
War Live
Latin Rock/Soul 1973
WAR The Music Band Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Music Band Live
Latin Rock/Soul 1980
WAR Greatest Hits Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
Latin Rock/Soul 2008

WAR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

WAR re-issues & compilations

WAR Platinum Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Platinum Jazz
Latin Rock/Soul 1977
WAR The Best of War and More album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of War and More
Latin Rock/Soul 1987
WAR Anthology 1970 - 1994 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology 1970 - 1994
Latin Rock/Soul 1994
WAR The Best of War... and More, Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of War... and More, Volume 2
Latin Rock/Soul 1996
WAR Collección Latina album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Collección Latina
Latin Rock/Soul 1997
WAR Grooves and Messages: The Greatest Hits of War album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Grooves and Messages: The Greatest Hits of War
Latin Rock/Soul 1999
WAR The Very Best of War album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of War
Latin Rock/Soul 2003

WAR singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Slippin' Into Darkness (Armand van Helden remix)
Latin Rock/Soul 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
War / Plump DJs – A Plump Night Out (Sampler 1)
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2002

WAR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

WAR Reviews

WAR The World Is a Ghetto

Album · 1972 · Latin Rock/Soul
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dreadpirateroberts
Laid back without being sleepy, War's third release is confident funk with jazzy moments complete with pretty flawless R&B and soul-styled vocals. A number one album in 1972, it included two top ten singles and is just about a track for track knock out.

Their third album after Eric Burden left mid-tour in 1971, 'The World is a Ghetto' was triumphant release, building on their previous album 'All Day Music' and surpassing it in both scope and performance. Opening with the humorous 'Cisco Kid' with its quirky organ, sax and clarinet (not to mention the lyrics) it was a hit single that Duncan Renaldo (The Cisco Kid) apparently liked and found 'funny' when he met Scott.

'Where Was You At' follows with its funky guitar and one of the surprises for those new to War's brand of funk, Oskar's harmonica - which features prominently in the album's highlight 'City, Country, City.' Named exceedingly well, it's cruisy, evoking dusty trails and open fields courtesy of acoustic guitar and harmonica, but also spliced with sudden morphs into more urban-sounding territory as the tempo picks up and Miller is given room to perform several saxophone solos before he gives way to Jordan's organ. The piece incorporates a percussion break and a quiet guitar solo from Scott before fading into 'Four Cornered Room' with its Wild West feel, another longer piece that shows the band's flair for thematics - and plays out over a gradual build that allows the vocalists to improvise around the title.

The album's second single, the title track, is a masteful a song, starting out in a deceptively gentle manner before the horns burst into the song's melody. Again, Oskar's harmonica plays an important role, as do the wonderful harmony vocals - not to mention the lead performances. Almost a lament for LA, it's theme is pretty universal if you've spent any time in, well, any city. Blessed with big bass sound and Brown's relaxed groove, the song picks up a little for the choruses but manages to occupy a state in between the tone of verse and chorus for the solos (where Miller gets a little frantic for just a moment), courtesy of a subtle shift in the bassline and beat.

Wrapping things up is 'Beetles in the Bog' which has a similar quirky feel to the opener, but the endless 'chorus' sound to vocal doesn't really work for me and the song kind of fades from memory pretty quickly. Still, an album that deserves its place on all the 'Greatest Album' lists floating around out there, as few bands seem to be as good as War at keeping their funk relaxed without becoming dull.

WAR War Featuring Eric Burdon : Love Is All Around

Album · 1976 · RnB
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Sean Trane
This album is a posthumous Burdon-era album, where manager Goldstein grabs all the leftover tracks from the short but fruitful Burdon-War partnership. Released in November 76, when War’s better days were past them, Love Is All around is a shameless attempt at exploitation and making a quick buck. Not that it attempts to hide it at all, but the album is not bad in itself, taking unused material from their heydays. With a newspaper artwork ala TAAB, the album deserves a listen if you’re into the classic War stuff.

Starting with the unremarkable title track, the album plunges into a shorter version of Tobacco Road, or at least they edited the lengthy jam parts. I personally prefer this version to the one in Black Man’s Burdon. Under the “Burdon reign”, War could’ve passed for a blues group given their frontman’s gift for blues. Here we are treated to another lengthy blues, but not one of their better one. With its 11 minutes, Home Dreams is a fine blues but overstays its welcome by a good 5 minutes, because some of those solos, breaks and jams are a tad foreseeable. Just two tracks on the flipside, including a cover of The Beatles’ Day In The Life, slowed down as if Vanilla Fudge was having a go at it, but here War is missing the notch by a mile…. Brain Auger And Trinity’s version is much better despite being instrumental. It’s not really a massacre, but I understand that some would hate it, even if it has its moments. And just to avoid taking sides, the other track is a live medley over the Stones’ Paint It Black with even more latitude, but the Stones’ track can take more abuse than its Fab Four counterpart, for obvious reasons. Note that this is another version than that one on Black Man’s Burdon album.

Hardly essential, but still definitely worth the odd spin here & there, this posthumous release is mainly an exploitation album, but then again, if all of those were of this calibre, we’d have to change its designation. For fans only, but it does deserve a bit more than that.

WAR War

Album · 1971 · Latin Rock/Soul
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
This third self-titled album was first supposed to be an offshoot project as the War musicians wanted to live their own existence, and with Eric Burdon’s consent, they went into the studio and recorded this album with their lead singer, but with the Dane Lee Oskar. The album relies a lot on older tracks from their Creators and Nightshift days, when they toured LA’s club scene. They also added another couple newer tracks to complete the album. With another impressive “hand” artwork, the album did use the name WAR, not even knowing that this would be no more a problem, since Eric Burdon left a few weeks after its release. Soo War is really a transitional album, growing from a psychedelic blues band into a jazzy-latin funk combo with plenty to say in future albums.

Opening on the delightful Sun Oh Son, a slow-starting organ-driven funk, written for the occasion by guitarist Scott with now-singer Dickerson dishing out the Vietnam-minded lyrics. A strong start, but unfortunately almost cancelled by an up-tempo piano-driven Lonely Feelings blues that goes back to their Nightshift days (pre-69). Nothing wrong with that particular track per se, but it’s just another blues. Closing the first side, War Drums is another pre-Burdon track, but this one hits the right button with its up-tempo percussions and inspired sax… generally War is over-extending their tracks, but here they probably should’ve expanded a bit more.

Opening the flipside is Lee Oskar’s Vibeka, dedicated to Dane ex-girlfriend that had died too soon, it is based on a Scott chord succession and an Oskar melody, but nothing worth waking up the neighbours by raising your volume to 11. And what to say about this complete waste of time called Fidel’s Fantasy where the band taunts Castro…. Pretty useless some 40 years down the road, when Fidel is still around and I’m not sure Dee Allen singing this is still on this planet of ours.

Little did the band know when they recorded WAR, that Eric Burdon was about to leave them a few weeks later, but this “solo” album came in perfectly in time to help the band build their confidence to go at it without their wild frontman. While this album was not exactly made for chart success, it hit the spot right on, by being almost invisible in the charts. Definitely a bit of a disappointment, this self-titled album is best seen as transitional, where the band morphs slowly from a psych-blues band to a jazzy-funk-rock combo.

WAR All Day Music

Album · 1971 · Latin Rock/Soul
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Second album without Eric and fourth overall, ADM faced the credibility test and the task to write some hits or else face the end of their contract. Sooooooo after the first eponymous album without Eric, All Day Music just had to find the charts…. And it did. With an unchanged line-up and a streetwise b&w photo of them, ADM was the first of a few WAR albums to find fame and riches and it was fully deserved.

The opening title track had been already released as an advanced single and this syrupy soul song had paved the way for the album. IMHO, this is a correct track, but hardly the album’s best, nor is it the centrepiece. Much funkier and with a political propos in the lyrics, Get Down is a step up in the album’s progressive spirit. Based on a cool funky bass, the smooth vocal harmonies hide fairly well the angry propos about police harassment and civil rights issues, which were detected and caused heat and friction with the local authorities when on tour. Starting ever so cool over cymbal scratching and a delicious flute, That’s What Love Will Do is a lengthy slow-tempoed track where the group’s lovely vocal harmonies seem to come out straight out of Motown and are underlined by a slow harmonica and interrupted by a salacious sax solo…. The track could almost veer into Barry White territory, if it wasn’t for superior collective aesthetics…. But the best is yet to come as the track turns into There Must Be A Reason and almost comes to a halt, but manages to stay alive by superb a capella collective vocal harmonies, slowly garnering strength and gaining speed to finish up at speed of light in a vocal implosion. Astounding stuff.

The flipside starts on with Nappy Head, a planned film theme (Ghetto Man) that never materialized and part of the melody seems to revisit their superb Spill The Wine track, during their Burdon era. Funnily enough the lengthy guitar solo could be coming from Steely Dan and the call & response between the rhythm section and the lead instruments is fun, despite the backing comedy crowds, but it wears relatively thin on repeated listenings. More interesting is the second centrepiece of the album, the stunning Slipping Into Darkness, a theme that took a few years to really develop. Starting on a slow developing intro, the track takes its sweet time to reach a sublime mid-tempo with its astounding percussion players and their great vocal harmonies. Underlined by Jordan’s Hammond and Lee Oskar’s harmonica, the group’s syncopated rhythm is a pure gas and I’m not sure Bruford or Squire would find their youngs in that fields. At times, this sends chills down my spine, despite my knowing this music for over 30 years. Finishing on a live Baby Brother, a blues capturing the band’s live power, but unfortunately also erasing their superb studio science and vocal

ADM certainly hit the spot and met the goals that were set onto the band, and this would be the door opened for a few more albums of the same calibre, with less pressure.

WAR The World Is a Ghetto

Album · 1972 · Latin Rock/Soul
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
After the ultra-successful ADM album, War had to confirm that they were no fluke and their next effort certainly did that. Actually with that cartoon artwork and a committing title like The World is A Ghetto, War assured themselves a multi-racial following.

The album’s opening track is one of the group’s most enduring tracks showing that the LA band was looking beyond the bay all the way to Frisco: Cisco Kid is a Latino-rhythmed track that had me wonder if it was one of Nuyorican-group of Mandrill or Cymande’s track. The following Where Was You At is more of a funky-fied Gospel music. The lengthy 13-mins+ City Country City was originally foreseen as a movie soundtrack of Nigger Charlie (but it didn’t happen), which might explained some lengths here and there. Musically in the better moments, we are close to High-Heeled-Traffic or Auger’s Oblivion Express. Flute, organs, sax and congas a gogo, but it could’ve been shortened a bit.

The flipside opens on the superb slow-tempoed moody epic Four Cornered Room, with solid and stupendous vocal harmonies sending chills down the spine and it is the entrance to the album’s centre. The title track is a no-less superb track, that probably fits best as War’s anthem track. Thoughtful lyrics, delicate lavish vocal harmonies (Burdon is now light years away), exquisite wind instruments interventions, discrete guitars, superb Latin percussions (bongos, congas) and always on-the-dot keyboards (mostly organ) and an edited version became the second hit of the album. The closing Beetles In The Bog is not dealing with the Fab Four lost in the Bayou, but is the album’s most up-tempoed funk track set to the usual War vocal harmonies and is an amazing end to the album.

Easily as good as the outstanding AD, if not better, Ghetto is one or my all-time fave ethnic album and the music is was then groundbreaking (as was Traffic, Mandrill, Cymande and a few more) and most progheads would gain to re-discover how such groups were progressing music along their own terms.

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