Howard Scott was the Co-Founder, Front Person, Leader, Guitarist, Songwriter and co-Producer of one of the biggest Funk/Pop/R&B acts, “War”. Howard competed head-to-head with Earth, Wind & Fire, and regularly bettered them on the charts. War was in the same league as big-time R&B acts like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross.
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Where there was very few before, Howard Scott, with the rest of the band, started out as an international ethnically integrated act led by English blues rocker, ex-Animal, Eric Burdon. They rose to fame on hits like “Spill the Wine”, “Low Rider”, “Why Can’t We be Friends”, and “Slippin’ into Darkness”, “The World is a Ghetto” and “Cisco Kid” just to name a very few. Burdon primed the band then left after completing a couple albums.
Influenced early on by blues masters such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed. Howard’s success is only enhanced by his purely emotional connection with the audience. War’s rich harmonies and rump-shaking grooves rounded out the popular sound.
Scott’s spontaneous chemistry has given birth to most of War’s greatest songs. One day Howard Scott was on his porch playing his Fender when he started singing, “Cisco Kid was a friend of mine,” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Howard Scott’s music has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide!!!!
Howard Scott on stage was the main motivator for the band War. Scott took a leading role in the production and writing for the band His approach was far-sighted and idealistic. Understandably, most of his tunes were credited to the whole band. Listen to any of War’s albums or songs to discover Howard Scott’s genius. It’s his soul-drenched voice belting out the lead vocals on most of War’s greatest songs and it’s the funky punch of Howard Scott’s guitar that often ignites the crowd. Howard’s lyrics were sometimes political in nature (in keeping with their racially integrated lineup), but his music had a sunny, laid-back vibe about it emblematic of their Southern California roots, which helped keep the groove loose. In fact, many of his studio songs were edited together out of longer improvisations.
Anyone who has experienced the catharsis of Howard Scott’s live shows knows that his songs are much more than a catalogue of platinum records and hits. With Howard’s ability and chemistry, he could build a Latin tinged groove like a force of nature and take it to the depths of Funk, Soul, R&B, and Jazz. For Howard Scott, the battle has always been to push the boundaries of popular music, to create a musical expression that is original and straight from the soul and heart, despite the forces of green and selfishness at work in society. His battle still continues today.
This unique chemistry goes back to South Central Los Angeles, when he formed an R&B group called The Creators. Like the street culture from which it was born, The Creators was a hybrid of ethnicities and styles, with a strong Latin influence and an eagerness to break the usual club act restrictions.
They cut their teeth on the R&B club scene backing the likes of Marvin Gaye and Little Willie John. As the band evolved, even more diverse elements were thrown into the pot, jazz percussionist Papa Dee Allen who had played with Dizzy Gillespie joined up, as did blues/pop singer Eric Burdon from the Animals.
“We called ourselves The Creators because years ago when we were at Jefty’s (club in L.A.), we’d be playing, it might be “Knock on Wood,” and we’d start out with the main motif, the head of the music, and then just take off on a jam, go anywhere we wanted to go and come back. When Howard Scott gets on stage now, he’s the same way. He starts off with one song, let’s say it could be “Low Rider”, or “ Sun Oh Sun, next thing you know, The Creators come out, whoops!”
All Day Music, which spawned His first Top 40 hits in "All Day Music" and "Slippin' Into Darkness"; the album itself was a million-selling Top hit. Howard Scott really hit his stride on the follow-up album, The World Is a Ghetto; boosted by a sense of multicultural harmony, it topped the charts and sold over three million copies, making it the best-selling album of that year. It also produced two Top smashes in "The Cisco Kid" (which earned them a fervent following in the Latino community) and the title ballad. Deliver the Word was another million-selling hit, reaching the Top and producing the single "Gypsy Man" and another hit in "Me and Baby Brother." However, it had less of the urban grit that Howard Scott prided himself on; while taking some time to craft new material and rethink their direction, War consolidated their success with the double concert LP War Live, recorded over four nights in Chicago.
Why Can't We Be Friends returned to the sound of The World Is a Ghetto with considerable success. The bright, authentic track hit the Top Ten, as did "Low Rider," an irresistible slice of Latin funk that became the group's first R&B chart-topper, and still stands as one of his best-known tunes. The release of a greatest-hits package featuring the new song "Summer". A double-LP compilation of jams and instrumentals appeared on the Blue Note jazz label, under the title Platinum Jazz; it quickly became one of the best-selling albums in Blue Note history, and produced an R&B-chart smash with an edited version of "L.A. Sunshine."
When disco began, Howard switched labels, moving to MCA for Galaxy, the disco-tinged title track was a hit on the R&B charts, Then completing the Youngblood soundtrack album for the movie of the same name, Next was Outlaw, which was a moderate success, the title track was a Top R&B hit. At he same time "Cinco de Mayo" became a Latino holiday standard. Commercial standing Interest in Howard Scott's classic material remains steady, thanks part to frequent sampling of his grooves by many hip-hop artists, which then fueled Rap Declares War with a variety of rappers and the sampling still continues today.
At that time, it was raw the essence of War that Howard Scott craved to go back into the studio and record Peace Sign in 1993. When he tried to return to the studio, he found that the topography of the industry as well as the dynamics of the group had changed. Howard Scott was very disappointed and frustrated. That led him to stop touring for nearly a decade.
This turn in the industry and in the band just slowed Howard down but only temporarily. To the delight of true fans everywhere. Howard Scott formulated a plan to regain control of his music and independence from WAR, as evidenced by his new single “Ordinary Man”. The raw essence is back! True to Howard’s original mission, he continues to evolve and push the boundaries of popular music. Legally, Avenue Records has prevented Howard Scott from using the WAR name. Remember, the spirit and the talent of WAR was and will always be Howard Scott. He will continue to perform, write and produce his music and fans will continue to come out in droves lending weight to Shakespeare’s proverb, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
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