The Black-Man's Burdon

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The Black-Man's Burdon
War - The Black-Man's Burdon.jpg
Studio album by Eric Burdon and War
Released December 1970
Recorded 1970 at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, California
Length 90:08
Label MGM
Producer Jerry Goldstein
Eric Burdon chronology
Eric Burdon Declares "War"
(with War)
The Black-Man's Burdon
(with War)
(with Jimmy Witherspoon
War chronology
Eric Burdon Declares "War"
(with Eric Burdon)
The Black-Man's Burdon
(with Eric Burdon)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau D+[2]

The Black-Man's Burdon is a double album by funk band Eric Burdon and War, released in December 1970 on MGM Records. It was the second of two albums by the group before Burdon left and the remaining band continued as War.

The title is a pun on The Black Man's Burden, an expression which refers to black slavery, used as the title of a book by E. D. Morel (1920) in response to the poem, "The White Man's Burden" (1899) by Rudyard Kipling, which refers to (and champions) American imperialism (including its history of slavery).

The album includes two suites based on cover versions of songs by other artists: "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones, and "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues, augmented by additional sections composed by the group. (Two similar suites appeared on the group's first album.) The extra material is mostly instrumental, except for "P.C. 3" (P.C. referring to Police Constable, a common abbreviation used in the United Kingdom), a risqué poem recited (and probably written) by Burdon over the music. Two other songs include a children's chorus credited as Sharon Scott and the Beautiful New Born Children of Southern California. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic says the album is "Composed mostly of sprawling psychedelic funk jams" and "it does find War mapping out much of the jazz/Latin/soul grooves...".

One single from the album was released: "They Can't Take Away Our Music" backed with "Home Cookin'".

Cover art[edit]

Gatefold photo

The album is also notable for its risqué cover art. While the front cover merely shows a black man in silhouette, the back cover shows Burdon and a woman in a suggestive pose: the woman sitting on a wall with her legs spread far apart, and Burdon (shirtless) resting the back of his head against her pelvis and gripping her ankles. The gatefold photo consists of the group (mostly shirtless) in a field with two nude women lying in the grass.

The album also came with a numbered 7–inch by 3–inch "war bond" entitling the bearer to $1 off the admission of any War concert.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by War (Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, Eric Burdon, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott) except where noted.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Paint It Black [Medley]" - 13:34
    1. "Black on Black in Black" – 2:05
    2. "Paint It Black I" (Jagger/Richards) – 2:05
    3. "Laurel and Hardy" – 1:30
    4. "Pintelo Negro II" (Jagger, Richards) – 1:05
    5. "P.C. 3" – 1:30
    6. "Black Bird" – 2:17
    7. "Paint It Black III" (Jagger, Richards) – 3:02
  2. "Spirit" – 8:38

Side two[edit]

  1. "Beautiful New Born Child" (War, Jerry Goldstein) – 5:07
  2. "Nights in White Satin" (Justin Hayward) – 4:28
  3. "The Bird and the Squirrel" – 2:43
  4. "Nuts, Seeds and Life" – 4:01
  5. "Out of Nowhere" – 3:22
  6. "Nights in White Satin" (Hayward) – 2:51

Side three[edit]

  1. "Sun / Moon" – 10:04
  2. "Pretty Colors" – 6:52
  3. "Gun" – 5:44
  4. "Jimbo" – 4:50

Side four[edit]

  1. "Bare Back Ride" – 7:07
  2. "Home Cookin'" – 4:10
  3. "They Can't Take Away Our Music" (War, Goldstein) – 6:45


  • Harold Brown – drums
  • Dee Allen – conga, percussion, vocal
  • B.B. Dickerson – bass, vocal (bass misprinted as "brass" on cover)
  • Howard Scott – guitar, vocal
  • Lee Oskar – harmonica, vocal
  • Charles Miller – tenor, baritone, alto sax, flute
  • Lonnie Jordan – organ, piano, vocal
  • Eric Burdon – lead vocals
  • Sharon Scott and the Beautiful New Born Children of Southern California – vocals on "Beautiful New Born Child" and "They Can't Take Away Our Music"
  • Jerry Goldstein – producer
  • Chris Huston – engineer


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1970). "Consumer Guide (16)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Umphred, Neal, Goldmine Price Guide to Collectibble Record Albums, Fifth Edition, 1996