Growing up, this was my favorite WAR album. I was actually born a year before it was released, but by the time I was about three or four, this was one of those albums that just jumped out at me...mainly because of the COVER.I think it was my favorite because as a kid, I was happy, optimistic, and innocent (like most normal kids are). This is probably the most joyous album they ever made, and it was the first War album I really connected to.
Every song is good (but that was the norm for them, by then). War was always sort of a "communal" band; no single member ever stood out above the others. In fact on this album, you get to hear 6 of the 7 members sing lead vocals on their own cuts...even LEE OSKAR (the lone exception being Papa Dee Allen...who does get a verse on the title cut).
The songs that initially grabbed my pre-K attention on this album were "Low Rider" and "Smile Happy." Everybody knows the former cut; the latter is another in a long line of great instrumental cuts. Every song is great, though. In college, "Lotus Blossom" became a song that I really loved. "So" is a beautiful, melancholy tune that could be played during a really sad scene in an old western.
If you buy this album for just one song, buy it for "Heartbeat."
By the time my father bought me my OWN copy of this album when I was about 7, "Heartbeat" became my favorite cut. It's not as well-known as the other songs on this album or any OTHER War album, but it's a BEAST!!! A deceptively simple, "proto-rap" groove featuring Harold Brown on vocals, it's been sampled a few times by hip-hoppers (one of the first groups I remember using it was Whodini in the mid-80s) and is one of those songs that any DIE-HARD fan like myself knows even though casual fans don't have a clue. I don't think I've EVER heard it on the radio...not even the college stations, but this song is at or near the top of the list of their baddest funk workouts.