Eric Burdon / War

Eric Burdon Declares "War"

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The debut effort by Eric Burdon and War was an erratic effort that hinted at more potential than it actually delivered. Three of the five tunes are meandering blues-jazz-psychedelic jams, two of which, "Tobacco Road" and "Blues for Memphis Slim," chug along for nearly 15 minutes. These showcase the then-unknown War's funky fusion, and Burdon's still-impressive vocals, but suffer from a lack of focus and substance. "Spill the Wine," on the other hand, is inarguably the greatest moment of the Burdon-fronted lineup. Not only was this goofy funk, shaggy-dog story one of the most truly inspired off-the-wall hit singles of all time, it was War's first smash -- and Eric Burdon's last. The odd closing track, a short piece of avant-garde sentimentality called "You're No Stranger," was deleted from re-releases of this album for years.

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