For the first time in 37 years, Eric Burdon and WAR will be performing together — for one night only — at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall on April 21. Tickets go on sale Feb. 14.
The announcement precedes Rhino’s reissue of Eric Burdon and WAR’s classic albums. The two Burdon/WAR collaborations, 1970’s “Eric Burdon Declares WAR” and “Black Man’s Burdon,” will be released March 24 in the U.K., followed by the release of their 1976 compilation album, “Love Is All Around,” on March 31. Additionally, all of the Burdon-less WAR reissues will follow throughout the month of April, before wrapping up April 14 with the release of “The Best of Eric Burdon and WAR” and “The WAR Anthology.”
Along with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Sly and the Family Stone and Santana, Eric Burdon and WAR was one of rock’s first multi-racial outfits. And while WAR scored some of their biggest hits without Burdon (who was previously a member of the Animals) circa the mid ’70s — “Low Rider,” “The Cisco Kid” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” — it was the Burdon-led, near-chart-topping “Spill the Wine” that introduced the masses to the group in 1970.
“My music has always had a message; working with a great multi-racial band was part of my statement at that time,” Burdon tells Billboard.com. “The name WAR forced people to look at the political environment of that time and obviously it is just as powerful today. I think people need to be challenged with a reality check, and this reunion is just the thing to help wake people up.”
The Eric Burdon and WAR lineup for the show will be comprised of Burdon and keyboardist Lonnie Jordan, as well as Start Ziff (guitar), Francisco “Pancho” Tomaselli (bass), Fernando Harkless (saxophone), Mitch Kashmar (harmonica), Marcos Reyes (percussion) and Salvador Rodriguez (drums). The performance will also be filmed for subsequent DVD release.