Friday, February 19, 2016

Neglected Hits - Summer - War

For many, War may easily be one of the best bands they've never really heard of. Now granted, almost everyone has heard their hit, #7 Billboard Chart hit "Low Rider," but that's where things start and end for casual fans, aside from maybe "Why Can't We Be Friends." Other more dedicated listeners could point out their first hit with Eric Burden, "Spill the Wine." and their highest charting success, "The Cisco Kid."

Surprisingly enough, War did have another hit song that charted just as successfully as "Low Rider" but isn't played nearly as much; that being the melodic, low-key jam entitled "Summer."

Released in 1976, "Summer" is one of those songs that was specifically recorded for a greatest hits record, and become a successful hit on its own. Somewhere inside my mind there's a specific article about songs that fit that category, but for now we'll just focus on this one. 

Like many of War's other songs, the funk vibe is certainly there, especially in the percussion track, but the pacing is certainly not as aggressive as the bass heavy "Low Rider." There's still a horn section and snappy drums, but the vocal is higher and smoother than on their other hits. The atmosphere though is beautifully mellow and relaxed; kinda like summer itself.

I've heard this song exactly once in my life on a radio, and in this case it was the in-house radio of an Uno's Pizza Restaurant. As I recall, the song was far better than my meal. But let's leave that as more a testament to the strength of this song than the quality of the pizza. Anyway, go check out War's "Summer;" it may not be as fitting in the middle of February as it is at the time of writing this, but it's still pretty great. 

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