Why Can’t We Be Friends? – War | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#6) & R&B (#9); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

For Long Beach, California’s, War the road to fame was a strange one. Originally calling themselves Night Shift, they came to Eric Burdon and Lee Oskar’s notice while backing up NFL star Deacon Jones. Deacon was no singer and Eric was – having fronted the Animals on House Of The Rising Sun – so he renamed the band War. Spill The Wine followed, then Burdon abandoned the group. On their own, War came into R&B and Pop prominence when Slippin’ Into Darkness slid into the Top 20. Then The Cisco Kid drove home their power as hitmakers when it peaked in the Top 5 on both charts. After Gypsy Man (#6 R&B, #8 Pop; 1973), almost two years went by without a significant hit. Still, a very successful live album kept War in front of the buying public throughout 1974. In 1975, the Latin-flavored band returned to the studio for Why Can’t We Be Friends? The title tune set the pace ahead of the album, entering the charts in May and returning War to radio and sales heights in late summer.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jerry Goldstein

Lyrics Written by:

  • Papa Dee Allen
  • Harold Ray Brown
  • B. B. Dickerson
  • Lonnie Jordan
  • Charles Miller
  • Lee Oskar
  • Howard E. Scott
  • Jerry Goldstein