Legendary Michigan Songs
37.) War - Edwin Starr
- Artist Name: Edwin Starr
- Year Inducted: 2009
- Category: Legendary Songs
"War" (N. Whitfield, B. Strong) - Edwin Starr; Gordy label, # 1 Billboard Hot 100, # 3 Billboard R&B - 1970. Inducted in 2009.
"War" was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and was first recorded by the Temptations on their "Psychedelic Shack" album. Motown received hundreds of letters asking that the song be released as a single, but the Temptations already had "Ball Of Confusion" scheduled as their next record. Instead, Norman Whitfield asked Edwin Starr if he would be interested in cutting a version of "War".
Starr had come to Motown after Berry Gordy purchased Golden World Records and its subsidiaries in 1968. Starr had four charting singles on the company's Ric-Tic label, including "Agent Double-O-Soul", before signing with Motown. Edwin had a Top Ten single with "Twenty-Five Miles" the previous year for Motown before hitting the top spot in the Hot 100 with "War".
Starr's biggest hit spent three weeks at # 1 in the summer of 1970 as more and more people began to turn against the United States' involvement in the war in Vietnam.
Edwin won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance for his outstanding recording of "War" - the only anti-war song to ever reach # 1. Edwin Starr's recording of "War" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
- YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01-2pNCZiNk