The original War was the brainchild of record producer Jerry Goldstein ("My Boyfriend's Back," "Hang on Sloopy," "I Want Candy") and rocker Eric Burdon (ex-lead singer of the top British band the Animals). Goldstein saw musicians who would eventually become War playing at the Rag Doll in North Hollywood, backing Deacon Jones, and he was attracted to the band's fresh authentic sound. The year was 1969, and the band had the nerve to carry the name War at a time when peace was the slogan in an anti-Vietnam War America. Founder and singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan claimed that the band's goal was to spread a message of brotherhood and harmony, using instruments and voices to speak out against racism, hunger, gangs, crimes, and turf wars, and promote hope and the spirit of brotherhood. Eric Burdon & War began playing live shows to audiences throughout Southern California before entering into the studio to record their debut album Eric Burdon Declares "War". The album's key track, the erotic, spaced-out, Latin-flavored "Spill the Wine", was a hit and launched the band's career. 1970s Burdon and War toured extensively across Europe and the United States, garnering rave reviews from mainstream and music press alike. England's New Musical Express called War "the best live band I ever saw" after their first UK gig in London's Hyde Park. Musicians on both sides of the ocean were buzzing about this new band. A second Burdon and War album, a two-disc set, The Black-Man's Burdon, was released in 1970, before an exhausted and volatile Burdon left the band in the middle of its European tour.