Edwin Starr was one of the singers to come out of Detroit’s Motown Records. Born in Tennessee and raised in Ohio, he moved to Detroit to become part of the dynamic music scene. He had many Soul and R&B hits, but his big #1 hit was “War.” Those powerful lines immediately jump to mind and are pounded out in Starr’s soundtrack: “War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” What more can be said?
Starr spent two years in the U.S. military before coming to Detroit and making it in the music scene. “War” was originally released on The Temptations’ album “Psychedelic Shack,” with Starr’s deep and intense voice carried a power that carried the song to the top of the charts. It was the lead song on Starr’s 1970 “War and Peace” album. In 1973 Starr moved to England where he continued his career on what was called the Northern Soul circuit until his death in 2003.
This 1970 Motown Time Capsule video of “War” features footage from the Vietnam War:
Here’s the 1969 video for Edwin Starr’s version:
Edwin Starr released a follow-up song “Stop the War Now!” with similar intensity. “Enough blood’s been shed by the wounded and the dead. Stop the war–Now!”