Spill the Wine

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"Spill the Wine"
Single by Eric Burdon & War
from the album Eric Burdon Declares "War"
B-side "Magic Mountain"
Released May 1970
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Funk, Latin, Soul
Length 4:51
Label MGM
Writer(s) War
Producer(s) Jerry Goldstein
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Eric Burdon & War singles chronology
"Spill the Wine"
"Tobacco Road"

"Spill the Wine" is a 1970 song performed by Eric Burdon and War. Released as a single in May 1970 (backed by the non-album track "Magic Mountain"), it was War's first chart hit, peaking at number three in the US.[1] Billboard ranked the record as the No. 20 song of 1970.[2] It was also a top three hit in Canada[3] and Australia.[citation needed] It charted #15 in Netherlands[4] and #28 in Germany.[citation needed]

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. A sound of a woman (Eric Burdon's girlfriend at the time) speaking Spanish is heard in the background. A flute solo also dominates the song.

In 1996, it was remixed by Junior Vasquez and released as a single again.

Lonnie Jordan said in an 2008 interview that Eric Burdon is the first Latin rapper in pop music.[5]

In the introduction to the live version of the song on Greatest Hits Live, Lonnie Jordan reveals that the inspiration for the song was a time when he spilled a glass of wine on a mixing board in the recording studio. Eric Burdon found the event funny, so he and Jordan used it as the inspiration for the song.

Use in film[edit]

"Spill the Wine" was used in the popular motion pictures Boogie Nights, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and Remember the Titans.

It was also sung during the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode, "That's No Lady, That's My Cousin".

The song can also be heard in the Dexter episode "A Horse of a Different Color", while main characters Joey Quinn and Angel Batista are smoking a joint.

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by The Isley Brothers for their 1971 album Givin' It All Back, as well as by The B-Side Players, Juan Ma y su Sonido Costeño, 2NU on their 1989 album Ponderous, Lalo Schifrin, Melvin Sparks, Michael Hutchence, The Dream Syndicate, Lighter Shade of Brown, Los Mocosos and Freaked Out Flower Children.

In 2004, flautist Alexander Zonjic performed a cover for his album "Seldom Blues."[6][7]

In 2012, the revival of the 1970s band The L.A. Carpool, covered Spill the Wine with a Latin salsa flare. The cover features well known Latin drummer Richie "Gajate" Garcia among many other well known Latin musicians.

Released in 2009, San Francisco band Vinyl covered Spill the Wine on their album Frogshack Music Volume II. The track featured Sugar Pie DeSlanto and Marcus Scott.

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

On February 23, 2014, Bruce Springsteen opened his concert at the Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia, with a nine-minute version of the song. It was the world premiere of a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band version.[8]


  1. ^ "Eric Burdon Declares 'War' > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles" at AllMusic. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970
  3. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. archived at Library and Archives Canada (Volume 13, No. 26). 15 August 1970. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Eric Burden & War - Spill the Wine" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Feenstra, Pete (2008). "Interview: Eric Burden". GetReadyToRock.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. You know really Eric sang the first Latino rap song ever to be on pop radio. 
  6. ^ "Seldom Blues overview". Allmusic.com. 
  7. ^ "Alexander Zonjic opening restaurant and jazz club". SmoothVibes.com. 
  8. ^ "Official Bruce Springsteen video release of the performance". 

External links[edit]