Warner’s Rhino reunites with Avenue Records for new catalog licensing deal including classic WAR recordings

Photo credit: Bob Gordon
WAR, Original Lineup

Warner Music Group’s catalog label Rhino Entertainment has reunited with Avenue Records for a worldwide licensing deal for its catalog, including recordings from WAR, Eric Burdon, Jimmy Witherspoon Blood, Sweat & Tears, Redbone, Circle Jerks, Funkadelics, and New Riders Of The Purple Sage, among others.

Rhino was previously the home of the Avenue catalog from 1992-2010.

Announced by Rhino President Mark Pinkus, the agreement includes WAR’s master recordings spanning nearly 40 years, from the band’s 1970 debut Eric Burdon Declares “WAR” to 2008’s Greatest Hits Live album. 

To coincide with the announcement, Rhino will release a gold-vinyl version of WAR’s 1976 Greatest Hits on November 27 for Record Store Day’s Black Friday Event.

Limited to 5,500 copies and sourced from the original masters, the compilation has not been available since its original release.

Starting in 1970, WAR fused Latin rhythms, funk, blues, jazz, and soul and earned the multi-ethnic lineup a series of hit singles, gold and platinum albums.

The group was created in the late 1960s by producer/songwriter Jerry Goldstein and British singer Eric Burdon, who was then living in Los Angeles after several years with The Animals.

Goldstein spotted the musicians who would become WAR playing clubs in LA. Soon after, Burdon started playing shows with the band.

Originally billed as Eric Burdon and WAR, the group would record two albums together: Eric Burdon Declares “WAR” (which featured the hit Spill The Wine) and the double album, The Black-Man’s Burdon.

After Burdon left the group in 1971, the band shortened its name to WAR and achieved gold-certified hits like Slippin’ Into Darkness, The World Is A Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends? and The Cisco Kid, as well as the No.1 R&B smash Low Rider.

The band truly had three consecutive No.1 R&B albums: The World Is A Ghetto (Billboard’s best-selling album of the year 1973), Deliver The Word, and Why Can’t We Be Friends?.

WAR is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2021.

“We’re really excited to be back home at Rhino.”

Jerry Goldstein

On Avenue and WAR’s return to Rhino, Jerry Goldstein said: “We’re really excited to be back home at Rhino.

“Mark and the team truly love music, and we look forward to spectacular re-issues and digging deep into our vast archives to polish and release some long-hidden gems together.”

“WAR’s music continues to endure 50 years later, and I look forward to perpetuating their incredible legacy.”

Mark Pinkus, Rhino 

Rhino President Mark Pinkus, said: “I could not be happier to announce Avenue Records’ return to Rhino.

“I had the pleasure of working with Jerry Goldstein and Glenn Stone on many incredible projects in their previous time with us and know we will achieve even greater heights with this new partnership.

“WAR’s music continues to endure 50 years later, and I look forward to perpetuating their incredible legacy with great releases while also connecting the band’s legendary catalog of hits with new fans around the world.”Music Business Worldwide