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|Single by War|
|from the album Why Can't We Be Friends?|
"Low Rider" is a song written by American funk band War and producer Jerry Goldstein, which appeared on their album Why Can't We Be Friends?, released in 1975. It reached number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart, peaked at number seven on the Hot 100 singles chart, and number six in Canada.
According to the AllMusic review of the song, "the lyric takes the cool image of the low rider — the Chicano culture practice of hydraulically hot-rodding classic cars — and using innuendo, extends the image to a lifestyle". The song's most distinguishable features are its driving bass line by B. B. Dickerson, which is present almost throughout, and the alto saxophone riff by Charles Miller. It also ends with a siren-like noise that then becomes a saxophone solo.
Saxophonist Charles Miller also takes the lead vocal.
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The song has been covered by many artists, including the following:
- Willy DeVille
- Butthole Surfers
- Carlos Santana
- Blues Traveler
- Peter Cetera
- The Fantômas Melvins Big Band
- George Clinton
- Epsilon Minus
- Exodus in 1988 (their Fabulous Disaster album)
- Gary Hoey
- Andy Offutt Irwin
- Kid Frost and Latin Alliance
- Korn (on their 1996 album Life Is Peachy)
- Look People
- Paul Rodriguez
- Popa Chubby featuring Galea in 2001
- Quando Quango
- Son of Dave on June 10, 2016
- Cedar Walton, from his 1976 album Beyond Mobius
- Those Darn Accordions
- Ty Segall
- Air Liquide
- Widespread Panic
- Barry White in 1999
- Yukon Kornelius
- Warren Hill on his 2005 album PopJazz
- A Spanish version by Mexican group Banda Pachuco was recorded in 1996
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- "Low Rider" was also significantly sampled by The Beastie Boys for their track "Slow Ride" on the 1986 album Licensed to Ill.
- "Low Rider" was sampled by L'Trimm on their song also titled "Low Rider".
- "Low Rider" was sampled by The Offspring in the remix version of "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", and also was featured on the song "Original Prankster" as the rhythm is based off this song and uses the cowbell section.
- "Low Rider" was sampled by Tito & Tarantula on the track "Bullets From a Gun".
- The song "Jorge Regula" by The Moldy Peaches borrowed the main riff from "Low Rider".
- Sublime sampled the riff of "Low Rider" in the song "Foreman Freestyle" on disc 2 of Everything Under the Sun.
- The song "Surfin Buena Park" by The Ziggens borrowed the main riff from "Low Rider".
- The ending saxophone solo is sampled in "GDFR" by Flo Rida.
- The song "Silence Is Talking" by Reverend and The Makers borrowed the main riff from "Low Rider".
- The song "Lies" by the Thompson Twins uses an almost identical bassline.
- The song "Pash" By Kate Ceberano samples the melody.
In popular culture
The song has been featured in numerous films, including Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke, Colors, Blood in Blood Out, Friday, A Gnome Named Gnorm, A Knight's Tale, Robots, 21 Grams, Dazed and Confused, Paulie, Beverly Hills Ninja, the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, The Young Poisoner's Handbook, Love Potion No. 9, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Internship and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It's also featured in the soundtrack for the 2004 video-game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as part of the fictional radio station Master Sounds 98.3.
"Low Rider" is the theme song for George Lopez, Lopez Tonight, and for its titular star's stand up comedy appearances. At the 2007 ALMA Awards, George Lopez called this song, "The Chicano National Anthem", and performed it live.
In the UK, the song was well-known in the 1990s as the music bed on a long-running series of TV adverts, beginning in 1994, for the food spread Marmite. These campaigns played on the love–hate relationship that the nation purportedly had with the product (the tagline was "You Either Love It Or Hate It"). The audio track therefore included interpolated lyrics such as "My mate, Marmite" and "I hate Marmite", sung in a style that mimicked Charles Miller's deep voice on War's original version.
- "RPM Top 100 Singles - December 13, 1975" (PDF).
- "Classic Tracks: Los Angeles Edition - Mixonline". www.mixonline.com. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "Cover versions of Low Rider written by B.B. Dickerson,Charles Miller,Harold Brown,Howard E. Scott,Jerry Goldstein,Lee Oskar,Lonnie Jordan,Papa Dee Allen - SecondHandSongs". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "Staying Power: Barry White" from Amazon.com
- ""Low Rider - Barry White"". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "PopJazz overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Warren Hill Creates New Record Label Called Pop Jazz". SmoothVibes.com.
- "Music producer did not infringe copyright with work on Marmite TV commercial - Solicitors Journal". www.solicitorsjournal.com. Retrieved 13 June 2019.