On May 19th, the legendary and groundbreaking group, WAR, will release their first new studio album in 20 years, titled EVOLUTIONARY, on Far Out Records/UMe. Available on 2CD and digitally, the package includes the new EVOLUTIONARY album and WAR's digitally remastered, multi-Platinum GREATEST HITS collection, originally released in 1976 and never before released digitally or on CD.
Produced by Jerry Goldstein and Lonnie Jordan, the new set touches on WAR's L.A. roots, while also updating the band's classic sound for a new generation of fans. EVOLUTIONARY was recorded at Total Access Studios in Redondo Beach, California by WAR founding member/vocalist Lonnie Jordan, percussionist Marcos Reyes, guitarist Stuart Ziff, bassist Francisco "Pancho" Tomaselli, drummer Sal Rodriguez, saxophonist/flautist David Urquidi, and harmonica player Stanley Behrens.
EVOLUTIONARY includes the autobiographical first single, "That L.A. Sunshine," featuring Cheech & Chong, who memorably used WAR's "Low Rider" in their movie debut, Up in Smoke. Cheech & Chong and WAR are co-headlining the ongoing "Up In Smoke Tour."
The album also includes "Mamacita," which revisits the band's Latin heritage and the Hollywood streets that inspired them accompanied by special guest Joe Walsh on guitar and the Tower of Power horns. "Inspiration," a song set to a Lonnie Jordan-penned poem, celebrates the band's unique relationship with its fervent fan base. Additionally, five-time GRAMMY winner and member of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. posse, Malik Yusef brings his hip-hop pedigree to the smooth R&B ballad, "Outer Space," the "Low Rider" sample of "Bounce," and the gospel choir on "Everything." Yusef also contributes the rap to Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong's "War" (a hit for Edwin Starr), which also features the famed USC Trojan Marching Band.
WAR is the quintessential Los Angeles street band, first discovered by producer/writer Jerry Goldstein in a North Hollywood club. Eric Burdon and WAR burst onto the charts with the classic worldwide hit "Spill The Wine." Burdon and WAR toured extensively across the United States and Europe, until Burdon departed the band during the tour. The tour continued and the band returned to Los Angeles to record their first album as WAR. The rest is history.
WAR has achieved 31 Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum RIAA sales honors, 11 Top 10 pop hits, and 15 Top 10 R&B hits, including "Low Rider," "Spill The Wine," "Why Can't We Be Friends," "The Cisco Kid," "The World is a Ghetto," "Gypsy Man," and "Summer."
Over the years, WAR's songs have been sampled by a broad range of artists, including the Beastie Boys, George Clinton, The Geto Boys, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Janet Jackson, Method Man, Redman, Smash Mouth, Tupac Shakur, Barry White, ZZ Top, Portishead, Korn, and many more.
Songs from the group's legendary catalog have been featured on the soundtracks for several hit movies, including Lethal Weapon, Boogie Nights, and Gone in 60 Seconds, popular TV shows "Beverly Hills 90210," "My Name Is Earl," and "The Simpsons," and best-selling video games "Grand Theft Auto IV" and "Skate 2."