Late last year, Warner Music Group's Rhino label confirmed that, after a ten-year break, it would once again be home to the Avenue Records catalogue. The first release under the new deal celebrated the career of Avenue's marquee band, WAR. That limited edition Record Store Day Black Friday reissue of the band's 1976 Greatest Hits was followed this year by another Record Store Day release, WAR: The Vinyl 1971-1975. That box collected WAR (1971); All Day Music (1971); The World Is a Ghetto (1972); Deliver the Word (1973); and Why Can't We Be Friends? (1975) on colored vinyl. Now, Rhino and Avenue are expanding the original Greatest Hits album on both CD and LP.
Greatest Hits 2.0, due on November 12 in 2CD and 2LP formats, brings together 24 tracks on CD and 20 tracks on vinyl from the group which fused funk, jazz, blues, soul, and Latin sounds into a propulsive whole. The CD version spans the period 1970-1994 including two tracks (the U.S. No. 3 hit "Spill the Wine" and a cover of "Tobacco Road") from the original group, Eric Burdon and WAR. The ex-Animal formed WAR with producer Jerry Goldstein who enlisted some of L.A.'s finest musicians including keyboardist Lonnie Jordan, today the sole original member still in the band. While Burdon departed after just two albums (with one archival trawl, Love Is All Around, released years later), WAR pressed on, survived numerous personnel changes, and even eclipsed its early success. WAR earned three consecutive R&B chart-topping LPs between 1972 and 1975: The World Is a Ghetto (Billboard's best-selling album of 1973 and also a Pop No. 1), Deliver the Word, and Why Can't We Be Friends.
The collection features such major hits and radio staples as "Slippin' Into Darkness" (No. 16 Pop/No. 12 R&B, 1972), "The World Is a Ghetto" (No. 7 Pop/No. 3 R&B, 1972), "The Cisco Kid" (No 2 Pop/No. 5 R&B, 1972), "Gypsy Man" (No. 8 Pop/No. 6 R&B, 1973), "Me and Baby Brother" (No. 15 Pop/No. 18 R&B, 1973), "Why Can't We Be Friends" (No. 6 Pop/No. 9 R&B, 1975), "Low Rider" (No. 7 Pop/No. 1 R&B, 1975), and "Summer" (No. 7 Pop/No. 4 R&B, 1976).
Gustavo Arellano of The Los Angeles Times provides the new liner notes in which he indicates, "All the big hits are here, of course, in chronological order from the Eric Burdon days up through cuts from 1982's underrated Outlaw...But what I love about this collection is that it's a symphonic suite for a perfect Southern California Sunday afternoon, the kind the rest of the world wants to experience but can only dream about. You can envision it by playing these albums from start to finish."
Based on the past two releases in this campaign, Greatest Hits 2.0 is anticipated to be newly remastered from the original tapes. Note that it does have fewer tracks than both previous 2CD WAR compilations, 1994's Anthology 1970-1994 (32 songs, 1994) and The Very Best of WAR (34 songs, 2003). Greatest Hits 2.0 arrives in stores from Rhino/Avenue Records on November 12. You'll find pre-order links and the track listing with discographical annotation below!
WAR, Greatest Hits 2.0 (Rhino, 2021)
- Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & WAR
- Tobacco Road - Eric Burdon & WAR
- All Day Music
- Get Down
- Slippin' Into Darkness
- The World is a Ghetto
- The Cisco Kid
- Gypsy Man
- Me and Baby Brother
- Why Can't We Be Friends?
- Don't Let No One Get You Down
- Low Rider
- Smile Happy
- L.A. Sunshine
- Youngblood (Livin' in the Streets)
- Good, Good Feelin'
- Cinco de Mayo
- You Got the Power
- Peace Sign
Disc 1, Tracks 1-2 from Eric Burdon Declares "War" (MGM, 1970)
Disc 1, Tracks 3-5 from All Day Music (United Artists, 1971)
Disc 1, Tracks 6-7 from The World is a Ghetto (United Artists, 1972)
Disc 1, Tracks 8-9 from Deliver the Word (United Artists, 1973)
Disc 1, Tracks 10-12 and Disc 2, Track 1-3 from Why Can't We Be Friends? (United Artists, 1975)
Disc 2, Track 4 from Greatest Hits (United Artists, 1976)
Disc 2, Track 5 from Platinum Jazz (United Artists, 1976)
Disc 2, Track 6 from Galaxy (MCA, 1977)
Disc 2, Track 7 from Youngblood (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (United Artists, 1978)
Disc 2, Track 8 from The Music Band (MCA, 1979)
Disc 2, Tracks 9-11 from Outlaw (RCA, 1982)
Disc 2, Track 12 from Peace Sign (Avenue, 1994)