March 23, 2018 at 8:00 PM
WAR, from the very beginning, in 1969 was a concept and musical laboratory to experiment with the blending of many musical styles and influences. They wound up being honored with 17 gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards, which included the triple platinum “The World Is a Ghetto” and double platinum “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
The group garnered excellent reviews from mainstream and music press alike after touring extensively across Europe and the United States. England’s New Music Express called WAR “the best live band I ever saw” after their first UK gig in London’s Hyde Park. Musicians on both sides of the ocean were buzzing about this new band. Jimi Hendrix jammed with WAR at Ronnie Scott’s Club the night on which Hendrix died.
In late 1971 WAR released All Day Music, the title track would be the group’s first hit single, and their first gold single “Slippin’ Into Darkness” followed propelling the album to over 1 million sales and a winning streak that would continue for years. In 1972, the band’s sound was refined and deepened with the release of The World Is A Ghetto; a celebratory, reflective, and gritty album which was recorded in just 29 days with Goldstein and legendary British recording engineer Chris Huston behind the recording console. Its first single, “The Cisco Kid” shipped gold and brought the band a following in the Hispanic community that has remained loyal to the group to this day. The thought provoking title song “The World Is A Ghetto” fueled the album to the Number One chart spot in Billboard and was voted Billboard’s Album of the Year.
WAR’s global popularity is a tribute to the timelessness of its music and message. Perhaps, nothing epitomizes this truth greater than the fact that WAR has twice been honored by its hometown of Los Angeles, over twenty years apart, for its music making positive contributions to the betterment of the community.
“The world is still a ghetto,” singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan said, echoing the title of the early album and song. “There will always be a reason to play our songs. When you come back to reality, you pull down WAR, because WAR is reality.”
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