Jun 12

War: “Low Rider”

War -- Why Can't We Be Friends?

Why can’t we be friends? Let me count the ways…

First of all, sorry for my intermittent posting this week — it’s been a very busy first week of summer vacation. That is, once my sons are home all day, my free time seems to dwindle exponentially. But it’s not just that: we’re preparing for a summer vacation (Ireland!), so there’s a lot to do before that happens. And it’s not going to get a lot better over the next few weeks — I suspect that I may be reduced to no more than (and occasionally less than) 3 posts per week. So fear not: I’m still here, just a bit less able to get the posts in. I expect things will get better in the second half of the summer — your patience, and continued readership, will be greatly appreciated. Now on to today’s post…

I haven’t necessarily given the subject exhaustive thought, but it would be hard to imagine that there is a better song to crank up loudly in your car with the windows rolled down on a hot, early-summer day than War’s “Low Rider,” from their 1975 album, Why Can’t We Be Friends? As soon as that cowbell starts knocking and that drum roll starts a-rollin’, you know you’re in for a few minutes of the greatest Latin funk known to the Western world. Even if you’re only driving, say, a 2001 Subaru Forester down the highway, you can nearly feel the car’s suspension bouncing as your head bobs in time to the bass line — “Low Rider” can turn any car into a lean, mean, low-riding machine. It’s quite remarkable, really. There definitely seems to be some sort of ’70s automotive magic embedded in this song. There’s a musical magic, at any rate — driving-song perfection like this has rarely been attained since.

One Year Ago: “Gold Lion,” The Yeah Yeah Yeahs


  1. Terry McDermott says:

    It’s funny how songs from that long ago still resonate. I clearly remember the first time I heard that song and thought what the hell is this.It sure isn’t Led Zeppelin but I loved that song. Then forgot about for a long time and last summer rediscovered and it hasn’t been off my i-pod since.

    1. Indeed — some songs have a timelessness to them, and they don’t even have to be by Cole Porter or the Beatles… ?

  2. SteveL says:

    Hey Dave – You got it right in the post, wrong in the title: it’s “Low Rider”. “Slow Ride” was that song by Foghat! ?

    1. Oh my — that’s rather embarrassing! Not only did I do that, but then proceeded to not notice! Thanks very much for pointing that out…it has now been fixed. And I know I didn’t have Foghat in my head while writing this, but maybe there was some subconscious short-circuiting going on…

Comments, please…

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