Digging In The Crates
By Pete Papandrea
Serious Vinyl collector & production manager of just about every music festival under the Australian sun. Pete is good, be like Pete.
The act of unearthing crates of vinyl & rediscovering music that needs to be heard, Disco é Cultura!
I’m not sure if it’s a harbinger for successful digging or a sign of things to come but the first record I happened upon since the re-opening of our beloved second hand stores is this funk nugget that I continue to buy no matter how many copies I come across, it’s too good to leave. Often considered as Eric Burdon’s backing band I believe War to be criminally overlooked as one of the best funk bands during an era awash with quality funk bands. War were hit makers of the highest calibre; some would even say they wore the crown as the premier jam band of the 70’s. Again and again the band released stunning recordings, if you haven’t heard ‘Low Rider’, ‘The Cisco Kid’, ‘Slipping into Darkness’ or the sublime ‘The World’s a Ghetto’, then do yourself a favour and have a listen, these guys were serious, and like the album of the same name they truly were an all-day band, and proves the point that there was more to this band than ‘Spill the Wine’.
Coming from the musical and racial melting pot that was Compton in the late 60’s the bands core players all had a love of diverse musical styles, and it’s those oddities they brought to the music (harmonised saxophone and harmonica solos) that elevated the tight funk outfit into something a little more special.
With the release of Galaxy in 1977, their first on MCA, the band hit its peak, and unfortunately its demise.
Inspired by the movie Star Wars, the title track is an straight up funk masterwork, an undeniable invitation to hit the dance floor, it sounds so tight you would have to assume it was over dubbed many times to get such a solid sound, but apparently it was a one-take wonder, and it comes as no surprise that the band’s live performances at the time were incredible.
The opening track on the B side ‘Hey Senorita’ is also killer, Latin infused Californian funk at its best, and the closing track will move you to tears, simply beautiful music that transcends genre’s while remaining as funky and danceable as any soul classic.
Till next time friends, keep digging…