You all already know the story of how Eric Burdon from The Animals joined up with the nascent group War and between them had a hit with “Spill The Wine”, but here’s more from Wikipedia:
The original War was the brainchild of veteran record producer Jerry Goldstein ("My Boyfriend's Back," "Hang on Sloopy," "I Want Candy") and rock legend Eric Burdon (ex-lead singer of the top British band the Animals). "I first saw some of the guys who would eventually become War playing at a topless beer bar in the San Fernando Valley, backing Deacon Jones, the pro football player, and knew immediately how potent these kids were," Goldstein said of his first exposure to the group. "I was friends with Eric and he was ready to throw in the towel on the music scene and return to Newcastle. He was tired of the 'rock' thing and desperate for a fresh authentic sound. I called him the morning after I first saw the band and made him return to the club the next night with me. Eric was so blown away by what he had heard that he jumped on stage to jam with them. The guys were so sheltered, that they hadn't even heard of Eric or The Animals. I had them in the studio within a week, and the rest is history!"
A fantastic journey from titty bars to national stage, so let me feature some highlights from their career built around a few lesser know gems and one you may already know.
Evidence One: Nappy Head (Theme from ‘Ghetto Man’)
First appearing on War’s second album “All Day Music”, this is just what you need when you want that shot of funk, horns, Latin beating tympanis and just all-around feeling. This has the reminiscent feeling of “Spill The Wine” right in the beginning with the organ riff playing over and over but pulls itself into its own flight path with the backing vocals and the occasional grunt from a band member coaxing it on its way.
Evidence Two: Don’t Let No One Get You Down
Hello - in the mood music. Slow sax, grinding percussion, light flute … this one absolutely sweats with attitude. Classic War harmonies make you silently wish for this one to be far longer that the 4.00 mark it’s allowed.
Don't let no one, no one get you down
Cuz if they do, if they do, i'll be around
I want you near, standing here by my side
So my dear wipe those tears from your eyes...
Evidence Three: Me And Baby Brother
This is a glowing tribute to everyone’s pain in the ass. However, the funk is distributed generously and with verve. Right from the first harmonica note and the joyous organ. You can just picture the guitar players and horns dancing – one, two three – left!, one-two three, right! Pointing the instruments and smiling the whole time at the masses who dance before them.
I remember the day
We used to fight together
I remember the day, yeah
We used to fight together
Come back, baby brother
Your my baby brother
I remember one friend of mine from back in the club days saying “With their music you can make love AND make War!”.
War: Nappy Head (Theme from ‘Ghetto Man’)
War: Don’t Let No One Get You Down
War: Me And Baby Brother
From: The Very Best of War