Friday, August 12, 2011

Soul Corner - Edwin Starr "War"

It saddens me beyond words that this song from 1969 remains so timely and in fact, especially so this week. WYMA is an apolitical forum, so I won't preach as the song and the news of this week speak for themselves.

But even if brave young soldiers and innocent people dying for nothing in Afghanistan doesn't move you for whatever reason, this song remains one of the defining moments of the anti-war Vietnam era. Originally written for the Temptations, but considered too "controversial" for their large mainstream audience, it was recorded by Motown bench warmer Edwin Starr. And he killed it.

"War" was then and remains one of the Vietnam era's signature protest songs.

From a musical perspective, it was a prototype funk song, and arguably Motown's very best melding of rock and soul.

But I sure wish it sounded more thematically dated.

Here's a live version with Edwin Starr with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, not the best quality video, but pretty cool nonetheless:


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