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War - Edwin Starr

War

War & Peace
soul funk motown 70s rock


"War" is a soul song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label in 1969. Whitfield first produced the song — a blatant anti-Vietnam War protest — with The Temptations as the original vocalists. After Motown began receiving repeated requests to release "War" as a single, Whitfield re-recorded the song with Edwin Starr as the vocalist, deciding to withhold the Temptations' version so as not to alienate their more conservative fans. Starr's version of "War" was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and is not only the most successful and well-known record of his career, but is also one of the most popular protest songs ever recorded. Edwin Starr, who had become a Motown artist in 1968 after his former label, Ric-Tic, was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr., became "War's" new vocalist. Considered among Motown's "second-string" acts, Starr had only one major hit, 1968's number-six hit "Twenty-Five Miles", to his name by this time. He heard about the conflict surrounding the debate of whether or not to release "War," and volunteered to re-record it. Whitfield re-created the song to match Starr's James Brown-influenced soul shout: the single version of "War" was dramatic and intense, depicting the general anger and distaste the antiwar movement felt towards the war in Vietnam. Unlike the Temptations' original, Starr's "War" was a full-scale Whitfield production, with prominent electric guitar lines, clavinets, a heavily syncopated rhythm accented by a horn section, and with Whitfield's new act The Undisputed Truth on backing vocals. Upon its release in June 1970, Starr's "War" became a runaway hit, and held the #1 position on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for three weeks, in August and September 1970.


Edwin Starr (January 21, 1942 – April 2, 2003) was an American soul music singer. Born Charles Edwin Hatcher in Nashville, Tennessee, Starr is most famous for his Norman Whitfield produced Motown singles of the 1970s, most notably the number one hit War. Edwin Starr was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1942. He and his cousins (soul singers Roger and Willie Hatcher) moved to Cleveland, Ohio where they were raised. In 1957 Starr formed a doo-wop group The Future Tones and began his singing career. Show more ...

War - Edwin Starr

War (Huh, yeah)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing (Uh-huh, yeah)

War (Huh, yeah)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing (say it again, y'all)

War (Huh, good god)
What is it good for?
Absolutely Nothing (Listen to me)

War, I despise
Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes
When their sons go out to fight
And lose their lives

(Chorus 2x)

War ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
(War)
Friend only to the undertaker

Oh, war is an enemy to all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest within the younger generation
Induction, then destruction
Who wants to die?

(Chorus 2x)

War ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
It's got one friend, that's the undertaker

Oh, war has shattered many young man's dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much too short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life, it can only take it away

(Chorus 2x)

War ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
(War)
Friend only to the undertaker

These moments they understand and tell me
Is there no place for everyday?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord, there's just got to be a better way

(Chorus 3x...fade)



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