An American original, War was the first and most successful musical crossover phenomenon that forever fused rock, jazz, Latin, and R&B, while transcending racial and cultural barriers with a multiethnic lineup. In the late 1960s, producer and songwriter Jerry Goldstein and British singer Eric Burdon assembled the group that would eventually become this legendary band. In forming the group, Burdon found musicians who were able to back his improvisational flights of fancy with the ease of jazz masters. A reviewer from Headline, England's New Musical Express, called War "the best live band I ever saw" after the group's first U.K. gig in London's Hyde Park. Burdon and War's releases like Eric Burdon Declares "War" (1970) and The Black Man's Burdon (1970) quickly became cultural touchstones of the late '60s and early '70s.
After Burdon left War in the middle of its European tour, the band returned to the studio to record its first album simply as War. The band's profile skyrocketed in the early '70s with the release of All Day Music (1971), which included the smash singles "Slippin' into Darkness" and the title track. War's exhilarating sound spoke to millions of Americans about the troubled times of Vietnam and Watergate as well as the tensions of the inner cities and racial strife. 1972's The World Is a Ghetto built on the band's success - the album was named Billboard Magazine's Album of the Year, and the single "The Cisco Kid" shipped Gold. Deliver the World (1973) fared well also, selling nearly two million copies and containing the hit "Gypsy Man." In 1975, when the Russians and Americans hooked up together in space, NASA played the title track from War's hit album from the same year, Why Can't We Be Friends?
To date, War has sold nearly 50 million records and has been honored with 17 Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum awards. The band is a permanent part of America's pop cultural landscape and a touring act that performs 150 shows a year. One of the first true musical melting pots, the band's enduring influence and catalog of timeless hits continues to permeate the everyday lives of fans around the world. War's latest release, a live greatest hits compilation, came out in 2008.
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