War (band)

War (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WarOriginalLineup 01.jpg

Original lineup in 1976
Background information
Also known as Eric Burdon and War (1969–1970, 1976)
Origin Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts
Members Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan
Howard E. Scott
Lee Oskar
Thomas “Papa Dee” Allen
B.B. Dickerson
Harold Ray Brown
Charles “Low Rider” Miller
Past members See: Past members

War (originally called Eric Burdon and War) is an American funk band from Long Beach, California, known for the hit songs “Spill the Wine“, “The World Is a Ghetto“, “The Cisco Kid“, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?“, “Low Rider“, and “Summer“.[4][5] Formed in 1969, War is a musical crossover band which fuses elements of rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, and reggae.[1] Their album The World Is a Ghetto was the best-selling album of 1973.[6] The band also transcended racial and cultural barriers with a multi-ethnic line-up. War was also subject to many line-up changes over the course of its formation, leaving member Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan as the only original member in the current line-up; four other members created a new group called the Lowrider Band.

1960s: Beginnings[edit]

In 1962, Howard E. Scott and Harold Brown formed a group called The Creators in Long Beach, California. Within a few years, they had added Charles Miller, Morris “B. B.” Dickerson and Lonnie Jordan to the lineup. Lee Oskar and Papa Dee Allen later joined as well. They all shared a love of diverse styles of music, which they had absorbed living in the racially mixed Los Angeles ghettos. The Creators recorded several singles on Dore Records while working with Tjay Contrelli, a saxophonist from the band Love. In 1968, the Creators became Nightshift (named because Brown worked nights at a steel yard) and started performing with Deacon Jones, a football player and singer.

The original War was conceived by record producer Jerry Goldstein (“My Boyfriend’s Back“, “Hang on Sloopy“, “I Want Candy“) and singer Eric Burdon (ex-lead singer of the British band the Animals). In 1969, Goldstein saw musicians who would eventually become War playing at the Rag Doll in North Hollywood, backing Deacon Jones, and he was attracted to the band’s sound. Jordan claimed that the band’s goal was to spread a message of brotherhood and harmony, using instruments and voices to speak out against racism, hunger, gangs, crimes, and turf Lowriders, and promote hope and the spirit of brotherhood.[citation needed] Eric Burdon and War began playing live shows to audiences throughout Southern California before entering into the studio to record their debut album Eric Burdon Declares “War”. The album’s best known track, “Spill the Wine“, was a hit and launched the band’s career.

1970s: Height of popularity[edit]

Eric Burdon and War toured extensively across Europe and the United States. A reviewer from New Musical Express called War “the best live band I ever saw” after their first UK gig in London’s Hyde Park.[citation needed] Their show at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on September 18, 1970 is historically notable for being the very last public performance for Jimi Hendrix,[7] who joined them onstage for the last 35 minutes of Burdon’s & War’s 2nd set; a day later he was dead. A second Eric Burdon and War album, a two-disc set titled The Black-Man’s Burdon was released in 1970, before Burdon left the band in the middle of its European tour. They finished the tour without him and returned to record their first album as War.

War (1971) met with only modest success, but later that year, the band released All Day Music which included the singles “All Day Music” and “Slippin’ into Darkness”. The latter single sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in June 1972.[8] In 1972 they released The World Is a Ghetto which was even more successful. Its second single, “The Cisco Kid” shipped gold,[citation needed] and the album attained the number two spot on Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was Billboard magazine’s Album of the Year as the best-selling album of 1973.

The next album, Deliver the Word (1973) contained the hits “Gypsy Man” and a studio version of “Me and Baby Brother” (previously issued as a live recording), which peaked at #8 and #15 on the Billboard chart. The album went on to sell nearly two million copies.[citation needed] The next album, Why Can’t We Be Friends? was released in 1975. It included “Low Rider” and the title track, which were among the band’s biggest hits.

In 1976, War released a greatest hits record which contained one new song “Summer“, which, as a single, went gold and peaked at number 7 on the Billboard chart. Also released that year were Love is All Around by Eric Burdon and War, containing mostly unreleased recordings from 1969 and 1970, and Platinum Jazz, a one-off album for jazz label Blue Note. The latter double album had cover art to match the greatest hits album, and was half new material and half compilation, focusing on (but not restricted to) instrumental music. The group continued to attain success with their next album, Galaxy (1977) whose title single was inspired by Star Wars. War’s next project was a soundtrack album for the movie Youngblood in 1978.

1980s: The Music Band[edit]

In 1979, following the departure of B.B. Dickerson during recording sessions for their next album (replaced by Luther Rabb on bass who completed the album), the band considered changing their name to The Music Band, but decided at the last minute to continue as War, and use The Music Band as the title of a series of albums. The series originally consisted of two studio albums (The Music Band, The Music Band 2, both in 1979) and a live album (The Music Band Live, 1980), but after the band left MCA in 1981 and had already made records for other labels, MCA expanded the series with a compilation (The Best of the Music Band, 1982) and a third original album of left-over material (The Music Band – Jazz, 1983).

The group lost another member when Charles Miller (saxophone) was murdered in 1980. He had already been replaced by Pat Rizzo (ex Sly and the Family Stone) in 1979. Other new members joining at this time were Alice Tweed Smith (credited as “Tweed Smith” and “Alice Tweed Smyth” on various albums) on percussion and vocals (giving the band its first female vocalist), and Ronnie Hammon as a third drummer.

After making the one-off single “Cinco de Mayo” for LA Records in 1981 (Jerry Goldstein’s own label, which also reissued Eric Burdon Declares “War” under the title Spill the Wine the same year), War signed with RCA Victor Records and recorded Outlaw (1982) which included the single plus additional singles “You Got the Power”, “Outlaw”, and “Just Because”. It was followed by Life (is So Strange) (1983) from which the title track was also a single. War’s records from 1979 to 1983 were not as successful as those from the preceding decade, and after the two RCA albums, the band’s activities became sporadic. They did not record another full album until a decade later. The 1987 compilation album The Best of War …and More included two new tracks, “Livin’ in the Red” and “Whose Cadillac Is That?”, and a remixed version of “Low Rider” (in addition to the original version). Papa Dee Allen died of a brain aneurysm which struck him onstage in 1988.

1990s: Reformations[edit]

Sampling of War by hip hop artists was prevalent enough to merit the compilation album Rap Declares War in 1992, which was sanctioned by the band.

In 1993, War reformed with most surviving previous members (including original members Brown, Jordan, Oskar, and Scott, and later members Hammon and Rizzo), augmented by a large line-up of supporting musicians and still under the management and production of Jerry Goldstein, and released a new album, Peace symbol.svg (Peace Sign) (1994).

In 1996, the group attempted to gain independence from Goldstein, but were unable to do so under the name “War” which remains a trademark owned by Goldstein and Far Out Productions.[9] In response, Brown, Oskar, Scott, and a returning B.B. Dickerson (who had not worked with War since 1979) adopted a name which referenced one of War’s biggest hits: Lowrider Band. They are yet to record a studio album.

Lonnie Jordan opted to remain with Goldstein and create a new version of War with himself as the only original member. Some other musicians who had joined between 1983 and 1993 were also part of the new line-up. Both the “new” War and the Lowrider Band are currently active as live performance acts.

1996 also saw the release of a double CD compilation, Anthology (1970–1994), later updated in 2003 with a few track substitutions, as The Very Best of War. Another CD compilation from 1999, Grooves and Messages, included a second disc of remixes done by various producers.

In the 21st century[edit]

On 21 April 2008, Eric Burdon and War reunited for the first time in 37 years to perform a one-time-only concert at the London Royal Albert Hall. The reunion was actually only between Eric Burdon and Lonnie Jordan, as the other original surviving members had not been asked to be a part of the reunion. The concert coincided with Avenue / Rhino Records‘ Eric Burdon and War reissues which included Eric Burdon Declares “War” and The Black-Man’s Burdon, plus compilations The Best of Eric Burdon and War and Anthology. In 2008, Lonnie Jordan’s edition of War released a live album / DVD of songs originally from 1969 to 1975: Greatest Hits Live. War were unsuccessfully nominated for 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[10] There were rumours that Burdon would join them again in summer 2009, but it did not happen. In 2011, War played “Low Rider” and many other hits at the Rack n’ Roll in Stamford, Connecticut with Remember September and Westchester School of Rock.

In 2014 the “new” War released a new studio album Evolutionary. Also in 2014, War was a nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[11]



Original members
  • Pancho Tomaselli – bass, vocals (2003–February 2015)
  • Eric Burdon – vocals (1969–1971)
  • Harold Ray Brown – drums and vocals (1969–1994)
  • Howard E. Scott – guitar and vocals (1969–1994)
  • Lee Oskar – harmonica and vocals (1969–1994)
  • B.B. Dickerson – bass and vocals (1969–1979)
  • Thomas “Papa Dee” Allen – percussion and vocals (1969–1988; died 1988)
  • Charles Miller – saxophone and vocals (1969–1979; died 1980)
  • Ron Hammon – drums and percussion (1979–1996)
  • Pat Rizzo – saxophone, flute, and vocals (1979–1983, 1993–1995)
  • Luther Rabb – bass and vocals (1979–1984)
  • Alice Tweed Smith – percussion and vocals (1979–1981)
  • Ricky Green – bass and vocals (1984–1989)
  • Tetsuya “Tex” Nakamura – harmonica and vocals (1993–2006)
  • Rae Valentine – keyboards, percussion, and vocals (1993–2001)
  • Kerry Campbell – saxophone (1993–1998)
  • Charles Green – saxophone and flute (1993–1995)
  • J.B. Eckl – guitar and vocals (1994–1996)
  • Smokey Greenwell – harmonica (1994–1996)
  • Sandro Alberto – guitar and vocals (1996–1998)
  • Richard Marquez – drums and percussion (1996–1997)
  • Kenny Hudson – percussion (1997–1998)
  • Fernando Harkless – saxophone (1998–2011)
  • James Zota Baker – guitar, vocals (1998–2002)
  • Mitch Kashmar – harmonica, vocals (2006–2011)
  • David Urquidi – saxophone, flute (2011–present)
  • War discography

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    War discography
    WarOriginalLineup 01.jpg

    The original lineup of War in 1976
    Studio albums 17
    Live albums 3
    Compilation albums 8
    Singles 60

    The discography of War (originally Eric Burdon and War), an American funk band, currently consists of eighteen studio albums, three live albums, seven compilation albums, and sixty singles.

    Studio albums[edit]

    Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications[1]
    US R&B
    1970 Eric Burdon Declares “War”

    18 47
    The Black-Man’s Burdon

    • As “Eric Burdon and War”
    • Label: MGM Records
    1971 War

    • Label: United Artists Records
    190 42
    All Day Music

    • Label: United Artists Records
    16 6 US: Gold
    1972 The World Is a Ghetto

    • Label: United Artists Records
    1 1 US: Gold
    1973 Deliver the Word

    • Label: United Artists Records
    6 1 US: Gold
    1975 Why Can’t We Be Friends?

    • Label: United Artists Records
    8 1 US: Gold
    1976 Love Is All Around

    Platinum Jazz

    6 7 US: Gold
    1977 Galaxy

    15 6 US: Gold
    1978 Youngblood (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    • Label: United Artist Records
    69 40
    1979 The Music Band

    • Label: MCA Records
    41 11 US: Gold
    The Music Band 2

    • Label: MCA Records
    111 34
    1982 Outlaw

    48 15
    1983 The Music Band – Jazz

    • Label: MCA Records
    Life (is So Strange)

    • Label: RCA Records
    164 36
    1985 Where There’s Smoke

    • Label: Coco Plum
    1994 Peace Sign

    • Label: Avenue Records
    200 52
    2014 Evolutionary

    • Label: UMe
    • Double album: half new music, half greatest hits
    “—” denotes releases that did not chart.

    Live albums[edit]

    Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications[1]
    US R&B
    1974 War Live

    • Label: United Artists Records
    • Double album
    13 1 US: Gold
    1980 The Music Band Live

    • Label: MCA Records
    2008 Greatest Hits Live

    “—” denotes releases that did not chart.

    Compilation albums[edit]

    Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications[1]
    US R&B
    1976 Greatest Hits

    • Label: United Artists Records
    • Includes one new track
    6 12 US: Platinum
    Platinum Jazz

    6 7 US: Gold
    1982 The Best of the Music Band

    • Label: MCA Records
    1987 The Best of War… and More

    • Label: Avenue Records
    • Includes two new tracks and a remix
    156 US: Platinum
    1996 The Best of Eric Burdon and War

    • Label: MGM Records
    • Includes one new track
    Anthology (1970–1994)

    • Label: Avenue Records
    • Double Album
    1999 Grooves and Messages

    • Label: Avenue Records
    • Double album: half compilation, half remixes
    2003 The Very Best of War

    • Label: Avenue Records
    • Double Album
    2010 Icon: The Hits

    • Label: Far Out Records
    2011 Icon 2: The Hits & More

    • Label: Far Out/Hip-O
    “—” denotes releases that did not chart.


    This is a list of their USA singles; additional singles were issued in other countries.

    Year Single Chart Positions Album B-side
    US Pop[4] US
    1970 Spill the Wine
    Eric Burdon & War
    3 Eric Burdon Declares “War” “Magic Mountain”
    They Can’t Take Away Our Music
    Eric Burdon & War
    50 The Black-Man’s Burdon “Home Cookin'” (A- or B-side)
    1971 “Sun Oh Sun” 38 War “Lonely Feelin'”
    “All Day Music” 35 18 All Day Music “Get Down”
    1972 “Slippin’ into Darkness” 16 12 “Nappy Head”
    “The World Is A Ghetto” 7 3 The World Is a Ghetto “Four Cornered Room”
    The Cisco Kid 2 5 “Beetles in the Bog” or
    “The World Is a Ghetto”
    1973 “Gypsy Man” 8 6 Deliver the Word “Deliver the Word”
    “Me and Baby Brother” 15 18 “In Your Eyes”
    1974 “Ballero” (live) 33 17 War Live “Slippin’ into Darkness” (live)
    1975 Why Can’t We Be Friends? 6 9 Why Can’t We Be Friends? “In Mazatlan”
    Low Rider 7 1 12 “So”
    1976 “Me And Baby Brother”
    21 Deliver the Word “In Your Eyes”
    Summer 7 4 Greatest Hits “All Day Music”
    1977 “L.A. Sunshine” 45 2 Platinum Jazz “Slowly We Walk Together”
    1978 “Galaxy” 39 5 14 Galaxy “Galaxy Part II”
    “Hey Señorita” 70 40 “Street Fighting Lady”
    “Youngblood (Livin’ In The Streets)” 21 Youngblood: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Youngblood (Livin’ in the Streets) Part II”
    “Sing a Happy Song” 87 “This Funky Music Makes You Feel Good”
    1979 “Good, Good, Feelin'” 101 12 The Music Band “Baby Face (She Said Do Do Do Do)”
    “I’m the One Who Understands” Promo only “Corns and Callouses (Hey Dr. Shoals)”
    “Don’t Take It Away” 32 The Music Band 2 “The Music Band 2 (We are the Music Band)”
    1980 “I’ll Be Around” 96
    1981 “Cinco De Mayo” 90 Outlaw “Don’t Let No One Get You Down”
    1982 “You Got The Power” 66 18 58 “Cinco De Mayo”
    “Outlaw” 94 13 “I’m About Somebody”
    “Just Because” “The Jungle (medley)”
    1983 “Life (Is So Strange)” 50 Life (Is So Strange) “W.W. III”
    1985 Groovin’ 79 43 Where There’s Smoke “Groovin'” (instrumental)
    1987 “Livin’ in the Red” 98 The Best of War …and More Not released as single
    “Low Rider”
    (Remix by Arthur Baker)
    59 “Low Rider” (original)
    1994 “Peace Sign” 64 Peace Sign Remixes of “Peace Sign”

    Related albums[edit]

    • 1970s: The Other Side of War Warms Your Heart (double LP of early instrumental tracks, credited to an early version of War comprising session men that apparently includes Brown, Dickerson and Jordan, with Bobby Womack guesting on guitar, released around 1973, though possibly not an official release)
    • 1992: Rap Declares War (various artists, with sampling taken from War)
    • 1997: War Stories (solo album by Lonnie Jordan, includes cover versions of six songs previously recorded by War)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s