[This review was originally published about 2012 or so. Note that we rarely have any War records in stock. If you see one, grab it, the recordings on the best pressings are positively amazing on big speakers at loud levels.]
We just finished our first big shootout for this fun album — the All Music Guide calls it “a magical ride with plenty of surprises to keep the listener on his or her toes” and we couldn’t agree more.
This copy gives you punchy bass, airy flutes, hard-hitting percussion and loads of Tubey Magic. Many copies we played had too much hardness, edge, and midrange honk, but this one is smooth, sweet and rich.
Engineered by the brilliant Chris Huston, this recording displays all his trademark gifts.
His mixes feature:
rhythmic energy that few pop recordings could lay claim to in 1972.
The links above will take you to other albums that are good for testing all of these qualities.
As for the choruses, allow me to paraphrase our listing from Commoner’s Crown.
This is one of the rare pop/rock albums that actually has actual, measurable, serious dynamic contrasts in its levels as it moves from the verses to the choruses of many songs. The first track on side two, Four Cornered Room, is a perfect example. Not only are the choruses noticeably louder than the verses, but later on in the song the choruses get REALLY LOUD, louder than the choruses of 99 out of 100 rock/pop records we audition. It sometimes takes a record like this to open your ears to how compressed practically everything else you own is.
The Top Is Important Too
Richness and weight are key to the sound, but oddly enough an extended top end was almost as crucial to the success of the best copies. When the top end extends, the sound is open and relaxed. When the various songs build to their climaxes, the copies with lots of clean top end had a sense of “ease” that simply was not to be found on the smoother (read: duller) brethren.
In Your Eyes
Me and Baby Brother
Deliver the Word
Southern Part of Texas
Focusing in part on their softer side, War unleashed Deliver the Word in fall 1973. A smooth blend of the band’s more progressive jazz-rock fusion, the LP shot to the top of the R&B charts, their second of four number one records in a row. It was a perfect tonic to the mediocre MOR music rampaging its way through the early part of the decade… An outstanding album split between War’s two definitive styles, Deliver the Word ultimately delivers a vibe, a groove, and an intent that are hard to resist. A magical ride with plenty of surprises to keep the listener on his or her toes, this set is a perfect example of the band at their genre-fusing best.