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War (band)

War was an American funk band of the 1970s and early 1980s. The roots of the band are from 1962, when Howard Scott and Harold Brown formed a group called the Creators in Compton, California (see 1962 in music). Within a few years, they had added Charles Miller, B.B. Dickerson and Lonnie Jordan. They recorded several singles on Dore Records and worked with Jay Contreli (of Love). In 1968, the Creators became Nightshift and started performing with Deacon Jones, a football player and singer (see 1968 in music). At a performance, producer Jerry Goldstein suggested they work with Eric Burdon (of the Animals) and Lee Oskar (a Danish harmonica player).

Burdon changed the name to War and the new line-up, with Oskar, began recording in 1969 and released Eric Burdon Declares War in 1970 (see 1970 in music). "Spill the Wine" became a hugely popular single, and the follow-up, The Black Man's Burdon, was almost as successful as the first. In 1971, Burdon left the group in the middle of a European tour, claiming he was too exhausted to go on (see 1971 in music). After a highly unsuccessful album, War, War's The World Is a Ghetto reestablished them at the forefront of popular funk and included two hits, "Gypsy Man" and "The Cisco Kid". Why Can't We Be Friends (1975 in music) sold well, and included "Low Rider", perhaps their most well-remembered song during 1976 in music. A compilation of jams called Platinum Jazz was a surprise success in 1977 (see 1977 in music).

The line-up began to fall apart in 1978 when Dickerson quit and Charles Miller was murdered (see 1978 in music). After a few unsuccessful attempts at recouping, War's Outlaw (1982 in music) was a moderate success, but the group was unable to keep any momentum as members came and went. By 1984, War was a touring band only. A comeback was attempted in 1994 with Peace Sign, but the album flopped (see 1994 in music).