Spill the Wine

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"Spill the Wine"
Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & War.jpg
Single by Eric Burdon & War
from the album Eric Burdon Declares "War"
B-side"Magic Mountain"
ReleasedMay 1970
Songwriter(s)Charles Miller, Howard E. Scott, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Harold Ray Brown, Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen, Lee Oskar, Eric Burdon
Producer(s)Jerry Goldstein
Eric Burdon & War singles chronology
"Spill the Wine"
"Tobacco Road"

"Spill the Wine" is the debut single by singer Eric Burdon and the band War, released in May 1970. It was backed by the non-album track "Magic Mountain", and was War's first Billboard chart hit.[4]

Song description and history[edit]

"Spill the Wine" first appeared on the album Eric Burdon Declares War and runs 4:51. Its writing credits include the members of War: Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, Eric Burdon, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, and Howard E. Scott.[5] The song was inspired by an accident in which keyboardist Lonnie Jordan spilled wine on a mixing board.[6] It features a prevalent flute solo, and the sound of a woman speaking Spanish—a friend of Eric Burdon—is heard in the background.[7] An edited version, released as a promo single for radio stations and subsequently included on most compilations, omits the middle spoken recitation, plus one chorus.[citation needed] The song was re-released as a single in 1996, after a remix by Junior Vasquez.[8]

Chart history[edit]

"Spill the Wine" was War's first hit, and their only hit with Eric Burdon as vocalist.[9] It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.[10] Billboard ranked the single the number 20 song of 1970.[11] It was also a top 3 hit in Canada[12] and Australia in mid-November 1970.[13]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[22] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Use in media[edit]


"Spill the Wine" has been used in the sound tracks of the following motion pictures:


The song was used in the sound tracks of the following television episodes:

Cover versions[edit]

1970s through 1990s[edit]

"Spill the Wine" has been covered by:


In 2001, The B-Side Players included a cover on their album Movement.[30] The same year, Los Mocosos included a version on their album Shades of Brown.[31]

In 2004, flautist Alexander Zonjic performed a cover of "Spill the Wine" for his album Seldom Blues.[32][better source needed]

San Francisco band Vinyl covered "Spill the Wine" on their album Frogshack Music Volume II in 2009, in a track featuring Sugar Pie DeSanto and Marcus Scott.[citation needed]

The revival of the 1970s band The L.A. Carpool covered "Spill the Wine" with a Latin salsa flair in 2012, in a track that featured well-known Latin drummer Richie "Gajate" Garcia and other well-known Latin musicians.[citation needed]

On October 31, 2013, jam band Widespread Panic covered the song, opening the second set of their show at UNO arena in New Orleans, and again at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on New Year's Eve of 2013.[citation needed]

On February 23, 2014, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened their concert at the Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia, with a nine-minute version of the song, the world premiere of their version.[33]

In 2019, the song was released by Michael Hutchence as the lead single from the compilation album Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence.[34][35]


In a 2008 interview, Lonnie Jordan referred to Eric Burdon as the first Latin rapper in pop music.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: I". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 27, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b c d Melissa Ursula Dawn Goldsmith (22 November 2019). Listen to Classic Rock! Exploring a Musical Genre. ABC-CLIO. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-4408-6579-4.
  4. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Eric Burdon Declares "War" - Eric Burdon & War". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "War would rather live in peace with rappers". The Indianapolis Star. December 13, 1992. p. 90. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Spill the Wine". AllMusic. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Best of War and More, Vol. 2 - War". AllMusic. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  9. ^ Mervis, Scott (2019-05-18). "Why Eric Burdon Left War". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 2020-12-24. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  10. ^ "Eric Burdon & War". Billboard. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  12. ^ a b RPM Staff (15 August 1970). "RPM100 Singles". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 13 (26). Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  13. ^ a b Go-Set Staff (November 14, 1970). "National Top 60 [Australia]". Go-Set. poparchives.com.au. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2016. [Quote:] 2. Spill the Wine, Eric Burdon and War.
  14. ^ Billboard Staff (November 28, 1970). "[Spill the Wine]" (archived print version). Billboard Magazine: 60. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  15. ^ DutchCharts.com Staff (October 23, 2011). "Eric Burden & War - Spill the Wine" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  16. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 30 November 1970
  17. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, August 29, 1970
  18. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. {{cite book}}: |format= requires |url= (help)
  19. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  20. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  21. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1970". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – War – Spill the Wine". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  23. ^ Bartel, Jordan (September 10, 2015). "Throwback Thursday: The top 10 songs this week in 1970". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Phares, Heather. "Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  25. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Givin' It Back - The Isley Brothers". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  26. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Ponderous - 2 Nu". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  27. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Brown & Proud - Lighter Shade of Brown". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Freaked-Out Flower Children – Spill the Wine". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  29. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Barb Wire". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  30. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Movement - B-Side Players". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  31. ^ AllMusic.com Staff (November 11, 2016). "Shades of Brown - Los Mocosos". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  32. ^ Soergel, Brian (May 25, 2004). "Alexander Zonjic Opening Restaurant and Jazz Club" (blog). Smooth Vibes Jazz. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  33. ^ Springsteen, Bruce (March 2, 2014). ""Spill The Wine" and "Seeds" (Hunter Valley 02/23/14)". self-published. Retrieved November 11, 2016 – via YouTube.
  34. ^ "Spill the Wine (single)". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Michael Hutchence's 'Spill The Wine' gets red hot start on Triple M". The Music Network. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  36. ^ Feenstra, Pete (2008). "Interview: Eric Burdon". GetReadyToRock.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. You know really Eric sang the first Latino rap song ever to be on pop radio.

External links[edit]