War being one of those bands who sounded like no other, All Day Music (their second album without former front man Eric Burdon) being pumped full of the sort of grooves and melodies that could warm up any day. With Nappy Head a most effective re-purposing of the groove from big deal Burdon driven novelty hit Spill the Wine. The silly story gets dumped. The music truly breathes.
“Have I raved enough yet about how indispensably, imperfectly essential the Clash’s Sandinista is? Probably not. Three slabs of vinyl, thirty-six songs, jams, dubs, meltdowns, whatever you want to call them. Not World Music so much as what the world actually sounded like in 1980-81, including war, here-there-everywhere, young men being called up, sent off to do and die. Which is what The Call-Up‘s about (from about halfway through Side Four). Don’t go, young man. Don’t fall for the patriotic bullsh** of old men whose blood won’t be doing the spilling. Remember that rose you want to live for.” (Philip Random)
Edwin Starr was the big voice behind War (What is it good for?), one of the great Motown singles. Here he’s pulling back a bit, weary of it all, just wanting some way out of the madhouse of modern life.
From the second and last album Eric Burdon recorded with War, and a sprawling four-sided epic it was. But Mr. Burdon, who’d lived the 1960s the way you were supposed to (ie: beyond the limit), wasn’t up to it. He crashed and burned one night on stage and showbiz being showbiz, War carried on without him, because they were really just getting started, like a beautiful new born child.