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  1. #1

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    I have been listening to War's early albums this week. What great stuff!

    The groove of those records is just phenomenal. Their first records with Eric Burdon are not so interesting to me, as Burdon clearly thinks his stream-of-consciousness rambles are more interesting than they actually are. After he left, though,they stretched out and made some phenomenal records.

    The great ones are All Day Music and The World is a Ghetto. Of course the bass (BB Dickerson) and percussion (Harold Brown, Papa Dee Allen) are awesome, but the standouts are the excellent sax work by Charles Miller and organ by Lonnie Jordan, especially on City, Country, City and Four-Cornered Room. There's also fine contributions from the great harmonica player Lee Oskar and guitarist Howard Scott, who knows how to lay down the funky rhythms but rarely shows off like Carlos Santana, an obvious influence on the group.

    Give it a listen. You'll party like it's 1971.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I thought they were good for absolutely nuthin. Huh!

    Great band!

  4. #3

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    I like War the band alot. I agree that Eric Burdon didnt bring much to the band.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I thought they were good for absolutely nuthin. Huh!

    Great band!

    haha..i see what you did there...

    edwin starr! war

    as per the group- war...low rider's got a great groove

    with don cornelius on soooouuuul train




    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-07-2020 at 07:05 PM.

  6. #5

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    War's keyboardist/vocalist, Lonnie Jordan used to sit in with my RnB band at old The Coronet Club in Long Beach in '71. He made us sound better than we were, especially when we covered War's material. Guitarist, Howard Smith and his buddies came to cheer us on from the front row. Great memories.

  7. #6

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    can't dismiss eric burdons value so casually...he pretty much made their career with this early hit -spill the wine

    tho must say as a little kid, this song always creeped me out...burdons seemingly sinister vocal inflections



    cheers

  8. #7

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    I loved a lot of their songs. Probably my faves were "Cisco Kid" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?"




  9. #8
    I have a part-time job where we're allowed to play music over loudspeakers and when i get the chance i plug in my playlist, which is heavy on jazz but includes several of War's greatest hits. The youngsters dig the grooves but the older folks, who first heard those songs on FM/AM radio, go absolutely bonkers.
    Really don't listen to pop music much anymore, but War is the exception because they are just so good.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    can't dismiss eric burdons value so casually...he pretty much made their career with this early hit -spill the wine

    tho must say as a little kid, this song always creeped me out...burdons seemingly sinister vocal inflections



    cheers
    White Man's Burdon?? that's a joke...

    Obviously Burdon launched their careers...he apparently saw the group when they were backing Deacon Jones--yes the football player--as he was singing in a club. They then joined Burdon. Their MO apparently was long open jams where Burdon would free-associate poetry and lyrics.

    (And yes Deacon Jones singing rhythm and blues was the inspiration for the song title "Deacon Blues.")

    I realize this was a thing back then, and it wasn't without its charms--Spill the Wine being the best example--but it was not really a great fit for a group that eventually tightened their sound and found a style they could excel in.

    I am still amazed by the vocals--really some of the best harmony work of the era--Slipping into Darkness, for instance.

    Unfortunately like so many other groups they did not survive the transition to disco, and several key members of the group passed on.

    I do like Eric Burdon, and he is a fairly underappreciated musician in his own right.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 07-08-2020 at 02:07 PM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I do like Eric Burdon, and he is a fairly underappreciated musician in his own right.
    I like him too. Played this album a lot when it first came out. This stripped-down (and slowed down) version of one of The Animals' hits works particularly well.


  12. #11

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    Great interview with Howard Scott (guitar) about the origins of War.

    Featured Interview – Howard Scott – Blues Blast Magazine

  13. #12

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    cool interview mark!

    jimi was managed by chas chandler...the animals bassist...that's the burdon connection

    as far as eric being important- howard says-

    "I’m glad we went with Eric because he did more for us than Deacon ever could have. So we spent months rehearsing with Eric, gettin’ down all the songs he wanted to do. He cut our 5 piece horn section down to only one, saxophonist Charles Miller and paired him with Lee Oskar’s harmonica. That was the new horn section. That was Eric’s vision and call. It was a smooth move and gave us a very unique sound."

    cheers

    ps sun secrets was good stuff...burdon band appeared on one of the tv rock shows of the time..don kirshner or midnight special...and they really kicked it

  14. #13

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    Great article! Howard Scott is a talented guitarist who plays very understated on the War records, but really contributes to their groove. No effects except a CryBaby.

    The sax/harmonica combination is so iconic now--Low Rider, Cisco Kid--that it's daunting to think how unique it was at the time. Unless maybe in some niche of Mexican/Angeleno music I'm not aware of. Maybe mimicking the accordion-based Mexican music.

    In any event, they were a great group for the time, and I wish I could have seen them in their prime.

  15. #14

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    Saw them about a year ago at the Monterey County Fair. I didn't know what to expect because some "oldies" acts are just going through the motions.

    They were great! Some serious musicianship and very, very funky!

  16. #15

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    I always felt "War" was a "crossover" band with subliminal R&B roots and a desire to capitalize in the lucrative Rock Revolution(Santana Sound-as Jeff mentions). Their music never worked for me. Neither did Santana's. Good playing . . . Marinero