Billboard #1 Hits: #241: “War”- Edwin Starr. August 29, 1970. #1 for 3 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.
- Single: “War”- Edwin Starr
- Record Company- Gordy
- Genre: Psychedelic Soul
- Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong
- Time: 3:22
- B-side: “He Who Picks A Rose”
- Album: War & Peace
- Grade: A+
- Peaked at #1 3 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #3 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Canada.
“War” another Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong smash from this era- was originally recorded by The Temptations in 1969- their version was less intense than Starr’s. The anti-Vietnam song wasn’t released by The Temptations as a single -the thinking was Motown didn’t want to alienate conservative fans of the group. Instead Whitfield recorded it with Edwin Starr and it would go on to be Starr’s biggest hit and become an anthem. The song does have a James Brown vibe about it. Note- Starr reached #1 in the charts with “War”- James Brown never had a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Edwin Starr died of a heart attack at 61 in 2003. After 2001 “War” was put on Clear Channel’s ‘do not play list”- of course we can’t have an anti-war song on the radio!