1/11/19 – War “Low Rider”
The Animals, fronted by Eric Burdon, were a big part of the British Invasion in the 60’s. They were bluesier than the other bands coming out of the UK, and Burdon’s voice was very distinctive. Their most well-known song, by far, was “House of the Rising Sun.” I think just about everybody knows that one! After The Animals broke up, Burdon went on to a good solo career, and in 1969, he was living in Long Beach, California and put together a band called WAR. The first time I ever heard it was when they blasted the airwaves with “Spill The Wine.” Eric Burdon was on lead vocals with kind of a combination of talking and singing, and behind him was an incredibly talented group of musicians! That song sounded like nothing else I had ever heard! (In fact, it was the subject of *THE MUSIC IN MY HEAD* maybe a year or so ago.)
At first, the group was known as Eric Burdon & War. After he left, they became War, and in the 70’s they rolled out a long line of hit records. There was “The World Is A Ghetto,” and “Cisco Kid.” A mellow tune called “Summer,” and a feel-good anthem called “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” In 1975, War recorded “Low Rider.” It reached #1 on the Billboard R & B chart, and #7 on the pop chart. For a few months there, it was difficult to go anywhere without hearing it coming out of somebody’s radio. Since then, the tune has been used in movies, television shows, and commercials, too. War was a musically diverse group, combining soul, jazz, reggae, and you name it. And the members of the band were racially and ethnically diverse, as well. I read somewhere that “Low Rider” was all about capturing the image of a cool Chicano guy, riding in a classic hot rod car… a certain lifestyle, too. It begins with a little cowbell, which is always a good thing, and that’s followed by a brass bass line. And the vocal is delivered by Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan, who is actually the only remaining member of the group to this day. (Yeah, he’s still got a group out there!) Watch the video and you’ll get the idea! It’s *THE MUSIC IN MY HEAD* today, and I hope you enjoy hearing it, too, as we head into the weekend!