The World Is a Ghetto: WAR Announce 50th Anniversary, 5-LP Box Set For #1 Album of 1973

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Tuesday, October 3, 2023

In 1973, the best-selling album in America was The World Is a Ghetto by WAR. This fall, the multi-ethnic SoCal band is giving fans a new way to experience its mega-million-selling classic with a new 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition available exclusively for Record Store Day Black Friday.

THE WORLD IS A GHETTO: 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION is a one-of-a-kind 5-LP boxed set available exclusively at participating independent music retailers on November 24 while supplies last. Limited to 4,000 copies, the deluxe collection was curated by WAR's producer, Jerry Goldstein, founding member Lonnie Jordan, and Jeremy Levine. It includes the original album, newly remastered, as well as six unreleased bonus tracks and unreleased "the making of" recordings that trace the evolution of each of the six original album tracks from the first note to the master take. The original album and bonus tracks are pressed on two gold-vinyl LPs, while "the making of" tracks are pressed on three black-vinyl LPs.

A previously unreleased version of "War Is Coming" from the forthcoming set is available digitally on Friday. Pre-save it HERE.

The World Is A Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition introduces six unreleased bonus tracks recorded during the sessions for the album. These previously unreleased recordings include original jams that later developed into future WAR songs. For example, versions of "War Is Coming" and "L.A. Sunshine" would appear on Platinum Jazz in 1977.

In the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition liner notes, Goldstein and Lonnie Jordan (lead singer and founding member) share insights into the "making of" recordings introduced in the set. Goldstein states these tracks show the songs taking shape in the studio. "The nice part about all these 'making of' tracks is that the final take of all of these tracks is the actual final master that we used in The World Is a Ghetto, without edits, without overdubs, just raw." Jordan cleverly adds, "Then we turned it around… R-A-W to W-A-R."

In 1972, The World Is a Ghetto soared to the top of the Billboard album and R&B charts, becoming Billboard's No. 1 Album of the Year for 1973, generating two gold singles, including the title track and "The Cisco Kid," which shipped gold and remains WAR's highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100. This album also marked the beginning of an extended period of creative and commercial triumph for WAR, which boasts 17 gold, platinum, or multi-platinum albums in the band's remarkable career.

Today, WAR's music provides an inexhaustible source of inspiration for R&B and hip-hop artists. Samples from four of the six songs on The World Is a Ghetto have appeared on tracks by artists like A$AP Mob, Geto Boys, Janet Jackson, and a hip-hop supergroup featuring Method Man, Redman, and Cypress Hill.

WAR continues to tour steadily, with live shows scheduled for the fall. (See the band's itinerary below.)


5-LP Track Listing

LP One: Original Album

Side One

1. "The Cisco Kid"

2. "City, Country, City"

3. "Four-Cornered Room"

Side Two

1. "Where Was You At?"

2. "Beetles In The Bog"

3. "The World Is A Ghetto"

LP Two: Bonus Tracks

Side One

1. "L.A. Sunshine" – Original Jam*

2. "War Is Coming" – Original Jam*

Side Two

1. "Lonnie's Wednesday Night Jam"*

2. "Lee's Latin Jam"*

3. "Blues For Papa Dee"*

4. "This Is My Song Milton James"*

LP Three: Making of the Tracks

Side One

The Making Of "The Cisco Kid"

Side Two

The Making Of "Where Was You At?"*

LP Four: Making of the Tracks

Side One

The Making Of "City, Country City"*

Side Two

The Making Of "Four-Cornered Room"*

LP Five: Making of the Tracks

Side One

The Making Of "The World Is A Ghetto"*

Side Two  

The Making Of "Beetles In The Bog"*

*previously unreleased

WAR 2023 Tour Dates

Oct 4 - The Big Fresno Fair - Fresno, CA

Oct 5-8 - Jazz Alley - Seattle, WA

Oct 14 - Music Hall Center - Detroit, MI

Oct 20 - Chumash Casino Resort - Santa Ynez, CA

Oct 21 - Palace of Fine Arts Theatre - San Francisco, CA

Oct 25 - The GRAMMY Museum - Los Angeles, CA

Nov 4 - Hutchinson Fox Theatre - Hutchinson, KS

Nov 11 - Primm Valley Casino Resorts - Primm, NV

Nov 16 - The Plaza Theater Performing Arts Center - El Paso, TX

Nov 17 - Arlington Music Hall - Arlington, TX

Nov 18 - Freeman Coliseum - San Antonio, TX

Dec 1 - Paramount Theatre - Denver, CO

Dec 2 - The Magnolia - El Cajon, CA