Post 1: The Boss’ War

There have been multiple wars in the history of the United States and many artists have used music to express their feelings about the wars. Some of those songs can be relevant even ten or twenty years after they were originally recorded. One of these songs is “War” originally performed by The Temptations and then Edwin Starr. The song was written in the 1960’s by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong as an anti-war anthem. The song focuses on the feelings of anger that many people had in the late 1960’s towards the Vietnam War. While The Temptations recorded the song first, they chose not to release their version so they would not upset any of their fans. So Edwin Starr stepped in and rerecorded it for a release in 1970. The song was a hit but it was forgotten during the late 70’s and early 80’s, that is until it was rerecorded by Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen recorded his version in 1985.

Bruce Springsteen became popular in the late 1960’s and continues to be popular to this day. His music is mainly rock with some folk music mixed in. He is known by his nickname; The Boss. He chose to record his own version of the song because he like every American, had personal experience with the Vietnam War. He was eighteen years old when he was called for the War induction. He failed every single test during the induction so he was not drafted to serve. While he did not go overseas and experience the War firsthand, he still had his own feelings about what the US was doing.

When he recorded his version in 1985, it was also because he was angered about how the US was handling certain situations. So he used the song to express his political views just like Edwin Starr did in the 1970’s. But you will have to tune in next week to learn more!

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One thought on “Post 1: The Boss’ War

  1. Hi Caitlin,

    Good work here. You should look at this video. I think this is the version that was included on Bruce’s 1985 live album.

    What themes is he trying to highlight here?

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