Why Can't We Be Friends? (song)

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"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
War Why Can't We Be Friends single.jpg
Single by War
from the album Why Can't We Be Friends?
B-side"In Mazatlan"
ReleasedApril 1975
Recorded1974
Genre
Length3:50
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Papa Dee Allen, Harold Ray Brown, B. B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott
Producer(s)Jerry Goldstein
War singles chronology
"Ballero"
(1974)
"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
(1975)
"Low Rider"
(1975)
Music video
Why Can't We Be Friends on YouTube

"Why Can't We Be Friends?" is a song by the funk band War for its 1975 studio album of the same name. The song has a simple structure, with the phrase "Why can't we be friends?" being sung four times after each two-line verse amounting to over forty times in under four minutes. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1975. The song is unique as various members of the band exchange vocal duties from verse to verse. It was played in outer space when NASA beamed it to the linking of Soviet cosmonauts and U.S. astronauts for the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 23 song of that year.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[9] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Smash Mouth version[edit]

"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
Smash Mouth - Why Can't We Be Friends (single cover).jpg
Single by Smash Mouth
from the album Fush Yu Mang
ReleasedApril 7, 1998
Recorded1996
GenreSka punk
Length4:46 (Album Version)
3:17 (Radio Edit)
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)Papa Dee Allen, Harold Ray Brown, B. B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott
Producer(s)Eric Valentine
Smash Mouth singles chronology
"Walkin' on the Sun"
(1997)
"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
(1998)
"The Fonz"
(1998)
Music video
"Why Can't We Be Friends?" on YouTube

American pop rock band Smash Mouth covered the song on its debut album Fush Yu Mang on April 7, 1998, releasing it as the band's second single and was also featured in the 1998 films BASEketball and Wild Things.[10] The song was also featured in the Friendships trailer for Mortal Kombat 11.[11] It was also used in a trailer of Ice Age.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "Hot on the heels of 'Walkin' On The Sun' comes a wonderfully festive, anthemic rendition of War's pop/R&B chestnut. The song's original funk-flavored arrangement proves perfectly accessible to Smash mouth's pop/ska style. The heartfelt 'let's get along' tone of the lyrics remains as relevant as ever to today's social and political climate, and the band's rousing approach makes the message all the more user-friendly to the pop masses. Another sure-fire multi-format hit from the album Fush Yu Mang."[13]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[14] 67
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[15] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16] 89
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 39
Spain (AFYVE)[18] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 29
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[20] 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Melissa Ursula Dawn Goldsmith (22 November 2019). Listen to Classic Rock! Exploring a Musical Genre. ABC-CLIO. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-1-4408-6579-4.
  2. ^ Gabriel San Roman (December 23, 2010). "WAR Is the Answer (and the Question) for Lonnie Jordan". OC Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 332. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "War Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  6. ^ "War Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 24, No. 14, December 27, 1975". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1975/Top 100 Songs of 1975". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "American single certifications – War – Why Can't We Be Friends". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 21, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  10. ^ "Music — Why Can't We Be Friends? - Single by Smash Mouth". Amazon. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  11. ^ "Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath - Official Friendships Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2020..
  12. ^ "Ice Age (2002) Trailer #1". YouTube. Retrieved Jun 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Flick, Larry (March 7, 1998). "Reviews & Previews: Singles" (PDF). Billboard. p. 61. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart Week Ending 24 May 1998". ARIA. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (26.2 – 5.3. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). February 27, 1998. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Smash Mouth – Why Can't We Be Friends" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Smash Mouth – Why Can't We Be Friends". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Smash Mouth – Why Can't We Be Friends". Singles Top 100. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "Smash Mouth Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved October 6, 2018.

External links[edit]