Edwin Starr - WAR

First performance: 27/09/1985


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 97 times :
 
"War" was performed in concert by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in 1985, added to the set list for the final few shows of their lengthy Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Springsteen and his manager Jon Landau were looking for a way to make these concluding shows, taking place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a little different and special, and Landau suggested playing "War". A year earlier, he had suggested the same, as a loose protest against Reagan Administration foreign policy in Central America and elsewhere, but the band had been unable to come up with an effective arrangement. This time, however, they did. Springsteen taped the words of the song to his arm, prefaced the song with a spoken admonition not to blindly trust the government, leaders or anything else, and then he and the band performed a rock rendition. Springsteen released the September 30, 1985 performance as a part of his 1986 box set, Live/1975–85. "War" was chosen as the first single from the set, and it was again a big hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video for the single was a straight concert filming of the same performance.

  • Born in the Usa tour 
1985-09-27 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES, CA
1985-09-29 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES, CA
1985-09-30 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES, CA
1985-10-02 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES, CA
 
  • Tunnel of ove tour 
1988-02-25 - CENTRUM IN WORCESTER, WORCESTER, MA
1988-02-28 - CENTRUM IN WORCESTER, WORCESTER, MA
1988-02-29 - CENTRUM IN WORCESTER, WORCESTER, MA
1988-03-03 - DEAN E. SMITH STUDENT ACTIVITIES CENTER, CHAPEL HILL, NC
1988-03-04 - DEAN E. SMITH STUDENT ACTIVITIES CENTER, CHAPEL HILL, NC
1988-03-08 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1988-03-09 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1988-03-13 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH
1988-03-14 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH
1988-03-16 - ROSEMONT HORIZON, ROSEMONT, IL
1988-03-17 - ROSEMONT HORIZON, ROSEMONT, IL
1988-03-20 - CIVIC ARENA, PITTSBURGH, PA
1988-03-22 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, GA
1988-03-23 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, GA
1988-03-26 - RUPP ARENA, LEXINGTON, KY
1988-03-28 - JOE LOUIS ARENA, DETROIT, MI
1988-03-29 - JOE LOUIS ARENA, DETROIT, MI
1988-04-01 - NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, UNIONDALE, NY
1988-04-02 - NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, UNIONDALE, NY
1988-04-04 - CAPITAL CENTRE, LARGO, MD
1988-04-05 - CAPITAL CENTRE, LARGO, MD
1988-04-12 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX
1988-04-13 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX
1988-04-15 - FRANK ERWIN CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TX
1988-04-17 - ST LOUIS ARENA, ST LOUIS, MO
1988-04-20 - McNICHOLS SPORTS ARENA, DENVER, CO
1988-04-22 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-04-23 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-04-25 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-04-27 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-04-28 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-05-02 - SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
1988-05-03 - SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
1988-05-05 - TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WA
1988-05-06 - TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WA
1988-05-09 - METROPOLITAN SPORTS CENTER, BLOOMINGTON, MN
1988-05-10 - METROPOLITAN SPORTS CENTER, BLOOMINGTON, MN
1988-05-13 - MARKET SQUARE ARENA, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
1988-05-16 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1988-05-18 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1988-05-19 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1988-05-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1988-05-23 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1988-06-11 - STADIO COMUNALE, TURIN, ITALY
1988-06-15 - STADIO FLAMINIO, ROME, ITALY
1988-06-16 - STADIO FLAMINIO, ROME, ITALY
1988-06-19 - HIPPODROME DE VINCENNES, PARIS, FRANCE
1988-06-21 - VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
1988-06-22 - VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
1988-06-25 - WEMBLEY STADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
1988-06-28 - STADION FEYENOORD, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
1988-06-29 - STADION FEYENOORD, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
1988-07-02 - STOCKHOLMS STADION, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
1988-07-03 - STOCKHOLMS STADION, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
1988-07-07 - RDS ARENA, DUBLIN, IRELAND
1988-07-09 - BRAMALL LANE, SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND
1988-07-10 - BRAMALL LANE, SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND
1988-07-12 - WALDSTADION, FRANKFURT, WEST GERMANY
1988-07-14 - ST. JAKOB STADION, BASEL, SWITZERLAND
1988-07-17 - OLYMPIA REITSTADION RIEM, MUNICH, WEST GERMANY
1988-07-19 - RADRENNBAHN WEISSENSEE, EAST BERLIN, EAST GERMANY
1988-07-22 - WALDBUHNE, WEST BERLIN, WEST GERMANY
1988-07-25 - IDRAETSPARKEN, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
1988-07-27 - VALLE HOVIN STADION, OSLO, NORWAY
1988-07-30 - WESERSTADION, BREMEN, WEST GERMANY
1988-08-02 - ESTADIO VICENTE CALDERON, MADRID, SPAIN
1988-08-03 - CAMP NOU, BARCELONA, SPAIN
 
  • Amnesty International - Human Rights Now! tour
1988-09-02 - WEMBLEY STADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
1988-09-04 - PALAIS OMNISPORTS DE PARIS-BERCY, PARIS, FRANCE
1988-09-05 - PALAIS OMNISPORTS DE PARIS-BERCY, PARIS, FRANCE
1988-09-06 - NEPSTADION, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
1988-09-08 - STADIO COMUNALE, TURIN, ITALY
1988-09-10 - CAMP NOU, BARCELONA, SPAIN
1988-09-13 - NATIONAL STADIUM, SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
1988-09-15 - MAPLE LEAF GARDENS, TORONTO, ON
1988-09-17 - OLYMPIC STADIUM, MONTREAL, QC
1988-09-19 - JOHN F. KENNEDY STADIUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1988-09-21 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES, CA
1988-09-23 - OAKLAND-ALAMEDA COUNTY COLISEUM, OAKLAND, CA
1988-09-27 - TOKYO DOME, TOKYO, JAPAN
1988-09-30 - JAWAHARLAL NEHRU STADIUM, NEW DELHI, INDIA
1988-10-03 - OLYMPIC STADIUM, ATHENS, GREECE
1988-10-07 - NATIONAL SPORTS STADIUM, HARARE, ZIMBABWE
1988-10-09 - STADE FELIX HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST
1988-10-12 - PARQUE ANTÁRTICA, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
1988-10-15 - RIVER PLATE STADIUM, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

  • Reunion Tour 
1999-05-16 - THE NEC ARENA, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
"War" is played as a duet with Edwin Starr just as they did in 1988 in the same city – the only version on this tour.

  • The Rising tour 
2003-03-02 - FRANK ERWIN CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TX
2003-03-10 - DUNKIN' DONUTS CENTER, PROVIDENCE, RI
2003-03-20 - TELSTRA DOME, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
2003-03-22 - SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
2003-03-25 - BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
2003-03-26 - BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
 

Songinfo

"War" is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label in 1969. Whitfield first produced the song with The Temptations as the original vocalists. The Temptations' version of "War" was much less intense than the Edwin Starr version. They delivered the song's anti-war, pro-peace message over a stripped-down instrumental track, with bass singer Melvin Franklin chanting a repeated recruit training-like "hup, two, three, four" in the background during the verses. After Motown began receiving repeated requests to release "War" as a single, Whitfield re-recorded the song with Edwin Starr as the vocalist, with the label deciding to withhold the Temptations' version from single release so as not to alienate their more conservative fans. Starr's version of "War" was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and is not only the most successful and well-known record of his career, but it is also one of the most popular protest songs ever recorded.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

 
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Bruce on the artist

Intro into "war":
 
´´If you grew up in the 60s....you grew up....with war on TV every night.... a war that your friends were involved in....and uh, I wanna do this song tonight for all the young people out there....if you´re in your teens....´cause I remember a lot of my friends when we were 17 or 18, we didn´t....have much of a chance to think about how we felt about a lot of things....and uh....the next time....they´re gonna be looking at you.....and you´re gonna need a lot of information to know what you´re gonna wanna do....because in 1985....blind faith in your leaders or in anything will get you killed....´cause what I´m talking about here is WAR !....”
 

Lyrics

War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War is something that I despise
For it means destruction of innocent lives
For it means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes
When their sons go out to fight to give their lives

War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing

War
It's nothing but a heartbreaker
War
Friend only to the undertaker
War is the enemy of all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
Handed down from generation to generation
Induction destruction
Who wants to die

War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing

War has shattered many young men's dreams
Made them disabled bitter and mean
Life is too precious to be fighting wars each day
War can't give life it can only take it away

War
It's nothing but a heartbreaker
War
Friend only to the undertaker
Peace love and understanding
There must be some place for these things today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord there's gotta be a better way
That's better than
War

War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing