In 1971, It Was Eric Burdon and War No More

Eric Burdon and War
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GAB Archive/Redferns

Eric Burdon and War recorded two beloved albums together, including the Top 10 hit "Spill the Wine." So what happened?

The former Animals frontman joined the long-running Long Beach combo for two albums in 1970: Eric Burdon Declares War and The Black-Man's Burdon. But in 1971, War's self-titled third album was their first of several without the British singer. Burdon reportedly quit during the middle of a tour in Europe, joining up again for a brief American tour before leaving them to record their own, increasingly successful tunes.

For years, rumors had put Burdon suffering from everything from drug addiction to a bad case of asthma. But original keyboardist Lonnie Jordan set the record straight to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2019. “Eric left on a good note,” he explained. “Eric was having issues with his record label at the time, and he didn’t want us to be part of the chaos and the red tape, and bailed on us on a good note and gave us his blessing. He knew we had the fire to continue.”

How right he was: after a slow start with War, follow-up All Day Music, released later in '71, was a Top 20 hit and a gold record; next year's The World is a Ghetto topped the pop charts and spun off the Top 10s "The Cisco Kid" and the title track (featuring vocals by late bassist B.B. Dickerson).

Read More: B.B. Dickerson of War Dead at 71

This summer for Record Store Day's "drops" at participating indie music sellers, fans will be able to get the band's first five post-Burdon albums in a limited edition colored vinyl box set - perhaps the only good declaration of War you'll ever hear.

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