Today's artists are 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". War is a musical crossover band which fuses elements of rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, and reggae. Their album The World Is a Ghetto was the best-selling album of 1973. The band also transcended racial and cultural barriers with a multi-ethnic line-up. The band 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. ........ N'joy
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Eric Burdon was a founding member and vocalist of the Animals, a band originally formed in Newcastle in the early 1960s. The Animals were one of the leading bands of the "British Invasion", and the band had quite a following around the world. Along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and Gerry and The Pacemakers, they introduced British music and fashion to an entire generation in an explosion of great tunes and outspoken attitude on, and off the stage. Burdon sang on such Animal classics as "The House of the Rising Sun", "Good Times", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Bring It On Home to Me", and "We Gotta Get Out of this Place". The Animals combined the traditional blues with rock to create a unique sound. By 1966 the original members had left, except for Barry Jenkins, and the band was reformed as Eric Burdon and the Animals later going through several line-up changes, the New Animals .This lasted until 1969.
War formed out of the ashes of an earlier R&B covers group, The Creators. In 1968, the band was reconfigured and dubbed Nightshift; Peter Rosen was the new bassist, and percussionist Thomas Sylvester "Papa Dee" Allen, who'd previously played with Dizzy Gillespie, came onboard, along with two more horn players. In 1969 they were discovered by producer Jerry Goldstein, he suggested the band as possible collaborators to former Animals lead singer Eric Burdon, who along with Danish-born harmonica player Lee Oskar had been searching L.A. clubs for a new act.
After witnessing Nightshift in concert, Burdon took charge of the group. He gave them a provocative new name, War, and replaced the two extra horn players with Oskar. To develop material, War began playing marathon concert jams over which Burdon would free-associate lyrics. In August 1969, Burdon and War entered the studio for the first time, and after some more touring, they recorded their first album, 1970's Eric Burdon Declares War. The spaced-out daydream of "Spill the Wine" was a smash hit, climbing to number three and establishing the group in the public eye. A second album, The Black Man's Burdon, was released before the year's end, and over the course of two records it documented the group's increasingly long improvisations.
Burdon's contract allowed War to be signed separately, and they soon inked a deal with United Artists, intending to record on their own as well as maintaining their partnership with Burdon. Burdon -- citing exhaustion -- suddenly quit during the middle of the group's European tour in 1971, spelling the beginning of the end; he rejoined War for a final U.S. tour and then left for good.
In 1971 Burdon began a solo career. Around this time, he also recorded the album Guilty! He has led a number of groups named Eric Burdon Band or some variation thereof, with constantly changing personnel. Burdon rejoined briefly with the other original Animals in 1976 and 1983, but neither union lasted. His popularity has remained stronger in continental Europe than in the UK or U.S. Today he continues to record and tour either on his own, or in front of yet another version of "Eric Burdon and the Animals" as Black & White Blues
War had already issued their self-titled, Burdon-less debut at the beginning of 1971, but it flopped. Before the year was out, they recorded another effort, All Day Music, which spawned their first Top 40 hits in "All Day Music" and "Slippin' Into Darkness". The follow-up album, 1972's The World Is a Ghetto; boosted by a sense of multicultural harmony, topped the charts and sold over three million copies, making it the best-selling album of 1973. Deliver the Word was another million-selling hit, though it had less of the urban grit that War prided themselves on. War consolidated their success with the double concert LP War Live, recorded over four nights in Chicago during 1974.
Released in 1975, Why Can't We Be Friends returned to the sound of The World Is a Ghetto with considerable success. The bright, anthemic title track hit the Top Ten, as did "Low Rider," an irresistible slice of Latin funk that became the group's first (and only) R&B chart-topper, and still stands as their best-known tune. 1976 brought the release of a greatest-hits package featuring the new song "Summer," which actually turned out to be War's final Top Ten pop hit. A double-LP compilation of jams and instrumentals appeared on the Blue Note jazz label in 1977, under the title Platinum Jazz; it quickly became one of the best-selling albums in Blue Note history.
In 1977, the band switched labels, moving to MCA for Galaxy; though it sold respectably, and the title track was a hit on the R&B charts, disco was beginning to threaten the gritty, socially aware funk War specialized in, and it proved to be the last time War would hit the Top 40. After completing the Youngblood soundtrack album in 1978, the original War lineup began to disintegrate.
Things started to go downhill for the group in the late 70s when bassist B.B. Dickerson left and another member, Charles Miller, was murdered. Various line-up changes followed but the original magic was lost and the group were not as successful, eventually becoming just a touring act. Papa Dee Allen collapsed and died on-stage of a brain aneurysm in 1988, leaving Jordan, Hammon, Oskar, and Scott as the core membership. Interest in War's classic material remained steady, as they have been heavily sampled by hip-hop artists creating a new generation that discovered the music of War. The band continues to tour, although with only one of the original members.
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. 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, coupled with a remasterd edition of their smash hitsampler from 1976. Also in 2014, War was a nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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When Eric Burdon and War released 'Love Is All Around' on New Year's Day in 1976, the concept of bonus tracks was still nothing more than a glimmer in the eye of a record company executive. Since Burdon and War had parted company about 5 years before this disc was released however, it exists as the quintessential bonus track disc. It's nothing but bonus tracks! Danish harmonica player extraordinaire Lee Oskar apparently came up with the newspaper cover concept, but perhaps not the idea of digging into the vault to unearth a variety of recordings that had been passed over rather than grooved into vinyl back in 1969 and 1970 when the band produced their other two albums, 'Eric Burdon Declares War' and 'Black Man's Burdon'.
The album opens with a funky (War exists, of course, as one of the most naturally funky collections of instrumental artists on the planet) rock track originally laid down in 1970, 'Love Is All Around'... not to be confused with the 1960's Troggs hit that prevented the latter from being a one-trick pony. Two other tracks are also drawn from 1970, 'Magic Mountain', which premiered as the flip side of the band's sole hit single, 'Spill the Wine', which rose to #3 on the national charts in July of that year. It's also one of the more interesting tracks, producing a unique psychedelic sound by mixing slow-tempo horns with a fast tempo piano melody and rhythm track. The lyrics continue 'Spill the Wine's' theme, offering such high-minded considerations as, "We're goin' high, high, high... never comin' down". 'A Day In the Life' follows, a daring eleven minute plus cover of The Beatle's epic finish to their most epic album. An organ replaces the piano foundation for the song, and while some horn and electric lead guitar add some unique flourishes, the song comes off a bit "lounge-y" in comparison to the original. A studio version of the cover is also offered on 'Black Man's Burdon'. The closing track, a ten minute plus rendition of The Rolling Stone's 'Paint It Black' comes off much stronger, featuring a driving beat, an unbelievably rocking bridge, and those familiar lyrics over an unfamiliar instrumental construct. The track was recorded live in 1969 in L.A., and offers an interesting contrast to versions by The Stones and West, Bruce and Laing. Two other tracks sum up the disc, a six and one-half minute take on the oft-covered classic 'Tobacco Road', given (of course) a funk/jazz treatment, and an eleven minute plus, Eric Burdon composed blues track titled 'Home Dream', spiced up with a jazzy sax and conga bridge.
'Love Is All Around' is a worthy addition to the two disc legacy left behind by an unlikely, but intriguing pairing of one of the premier blues-rock vocalists of the 1960's with one of the first jazz fusion bands of the 1970's. Despite the rising tide of punk and disco music as the 1970's ebbed away, I don't believe this disc was dated material when it was released in 1976, and its intriguing sound and mix of genres continue to make it more than nostalgic three decades later.
Eric Burdon and War - Love Is All Around (flac 264mb)
01 Love Is All Around 4:12
02 Tobacco Road 6:30
03 Home Dream 7:12
04 Magic Mountain 4:18
05 A Day In The Life 11:05
06 Paint It Black 10:09
Eric Burdon and War - Love Is All Around (ogg 100mb)
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An often overlooked and underrated part of War's legacy was their instrumentals, many of which were quite imaginative. War's members loved jazz, and they expressed that passion not because they had any illusions of trying to compete with Miles Davis or Joe Henderson, but simply for the enjoyment of it. Released as a two-LP set, Platinum Jazz gathered War's previously released instrumentals (plus one vocal, "Deliver the Word") with fine results. Jazz fusion material ranging from the unpredictable "City, Country, City" (arguably the band's best instrumental ever, and certainly their best known) and the salsa-influenced "Nappy Head" to the mellow "H2Overture" and the congenial "Smile Happy" show just how effective War's members could be without vocals. And when saxman Charles Miller and keyboardist Lonnie Jordan stretch out, it's clear that as improvisers, they weren't half bad.
War - Platinum Jazz (flac 454mb)
01 War Is Coming! War Is Coming! 7:12
02 Slowly We Walk Together 5:53
03 Platinum Jazz 7:14
04 I Got You 6:04
05 L.A. Sunshine 9:58
06 River Niger 8:40
07 H2Overture 3:59
08 City, Country, City 7:23
09 Smile Happy 3:59
10 Deliver the Word 5:53
11 Nappy Head 4:12
12 Four Cornered Room 7:15
War - Platinum Jazz (ogg 190mb )
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There wasn't much that the emergent Star Wars culture didn't touch in the latter part of the 1970s, and War's 1977 LP, Galaxy, was no exception. As the band moved further and further from the funk that drove its earliest grooves through to its street-savvy "Low Rider" alter ego, War's core audience was co-opted by a new crop of fans just looking for a groove. Galaxy filled that gap well. On paper, the LP should have been driven by the title track -- a wonderful eight-minute frenzy that glories in compulsive hooks and weaves in some super-stellar Star Wars lyric riffing, all the while pounding the beat home underneath a rhythm borrowed from los Chakachas' "Jungle Fever." It's an outstanding opener. Unfortunately, the band drizzled downhill all the way through the rest of the set, across lightweight and uninspired material that couldn't even be redeemed by the sassy "Hey Señorita." Even the ballad "Sweet Fighting Lady" wasn't up to their usual down-tempo stuff, and any achievements were wiped right off the slate by the closer, "The Seven Tin Soldiers," which is an unending, unyielding 14-minute instrumental. One song, no matter how marvelously executed, does not an album make, and at the end of the day Galaxy couldn't pull the band out of its rut.
War - Galaxy (flac 285mb)
01 Galaxy 8:14
02 Baby Face (She Said Do Do Do Do) 5:03
03 Sweet Fighting Lady 7:11
04 Hey Señorita 5:46
05 The Seven Tin Soldiers 14:14
06 Galaxy (single) 4:46
. War - Galaxy (ogg 112mb)
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War got decent mileage from the soundtrack for this B-movie, which premiered near the end of the first blaxploitation era. They ended with two R&B hits, and while they were perturbed that United Artists, the label they had left, reaped the benefits, it at least kept them active and in the R&B hunt. Their unique blend of soul, jazz, funk and latin can only be paralelled by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, who was a much more sucessful and heralded contemporary of theirs. With this soundtrack though, they did a great job...though to an empty house! Too bad the movie "Youngblood" itself was like a B-rate "Boyz In Da' Hood" about 15 yrs before the fact! This soundtrack was virtually ignored except by the most die-hard WAR fans, but it was just as good as say Rose Royce's "Car Wash" soundtrack War would never again sound this fresh or relevant. The disco infested pop charts were still waiting for War to cash in. Thus rendering Youngblood nothing more than a mini retro opera of their former selves.
War - Youngblood (flac 267mb)
01 Youngblood (Livin' In The Streets) 10:42
02 Sing A Happy Song 4:04
03 Keep On Doin' 3:50
04 The Kingsmen Sign 2:35
05 Walkin' To War 2:43
06 This Funky Music Makes You Feel Good 6:26
07 Junk Yard 2:32
08 Superdude 2:35
09 Youngblood & Sybil 1:44
10 Flying Machine (The Chase) 7:39
11 Searching For Youngblood & Rommel 1:45
12 Youngblood (Livin' In The Streets) - Reprise 1:27
.War - Youngblood (ogg 118mb)
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