The World Is a Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition & Greatest Hits Two New Releases From The Iconic WAR

In 1973, the best-selling album in America was The World Is a Ghetto by WAR, and to continue the 50th anniversary celebrations of this iconic record, The World Is A Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will be released as a 4CD and digital set, complementing the limited-edition, widely-acclaimed 5LP version from November 2023’s Record Store Day. In addition, the original 1976 Greatest Hits package containing tracks from The World Is a Ghetto and more will be available on CD and vinyl.

Both will be released via Rhino on July 19th, and are available for pre-order now here.

The World Is A Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was curated by WAR’s producer, Jerry Goldstein, founding member Lonnie Jordan, and Jeremy Levine. It includes the recently remastered original album, as well as six bonus tracks and “the making of” recordings, which trace the in-studio evolution of each of the six original album tracks from the first note to the master take. All were first released on the vinyl box set, and this marks the first time they will be on CD and streaming platforms. Read more about the project in Goldmine Magazine’s Spring 2024 Cover Story, featuring Jerry Goldstein and Lonnie Jordan.

The Greatest Hits brings together WAR’s classic collection of tracks, including universal favorites “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Low Rider,” and “Cisco Kid,” as well as beloved deep cuts like “Gypsy Man” and “Southern Part of Texas,” which demonstrate the breadth, fusion, and originality of the band’s sound and influences. It will be released on CD and vinyl, and fans can learn more about the creation of “Low Rider” in WAR’s recent episode of Song Exploder.

The World Is A Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition’s six bonus tracks were recorded during the sessions for the album and include original jams that later developed into future WAR songs. For example, versions of “War Is Coming” and “L.A. Sunshine” that would appear on Platinum Jazz in 1977. The liner notes were done by Goldstein and Lonnie Jordan (lead singer and founding member), and share insights into the “making of” recordings introduced in the set. Goldstein states these tracks show the songs taking shape in the studio. “The nice part about all these ‘making of’ tracks is that the final take of all of these tracks is the actual final master that we used in The World Is A Ghetto, without edits, without overdubs, just raw.” Jordan cleverly adds, “Then we turned it around…R-A-W to W-A-R.”

In 1972, The World Is a Ghetto soared to the top of the Billboard album and R&B charts, becoming Billboard’s No. 1 Album of the Year for 1973, generating two gold singles, including the title track and “The Cisco Kid,” which shipped gold and remains WAR’s highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100. This album also marked the beginning of an extended period of creative and commercial triumph for WAR, boasting more than 20 gold, platinum and multi-platinum records throughout their remarkable career.

Today, WAR’s music provides an inexhaustible source of inspiration for R&B and hip-hop artists. Samples from four of the six songs on The World Is A Ghetto have appeared on tracks by artists like A$AP Mob, Geto Boys, Janet Jackson, and a hip-hop supergroup featuring Method Man, Redman, and Cypress Hill.

WAR continues to tour, and their first UK show in 16 years will take place June 21st, as part of Chaka Khan’s Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets are available here, and the rest of WAR’s upcoming performances for this year’s The World Is a Ghetto 50th Anniversary Tour are on-sale at

5-LP Track Listing

LP One: Original Album

Side One
“The Cisco Kid”
“City, Country, City”
“Four-Cornered Room”

Side Two
“Where Was You At?”
“Beetles In The Bog”
“The World Is A Ghetto”

LP Two: Bonus Tracks

Side One
“L.A. Sunshine” – Original Jam*
“War Is Coming” – Original Jam*

Side Two
“Lonnie’s Wednesday Night Jam”*
“Lee’s Latin Jam”*
“Blues For Papa Dee”*
“This Is My Song Milton James”*

LP Three: Making of the Tracks

Side One

The Making Of “The Cisco Kid”

Side Two
The Making Of “Where Was You At?”*

LP Four: Making of the Tracks

Side One
The Making Of “City, Country City”*

Side Two
The Making Of “Four-Cornered Room”*

LP Five: Making of the Tracks
Side One
The Making Of “The World Is A Ghetto”*

Side Two
The Making Of “Beetles In The Bog”*
*previously only released on 5-LP set

Side 1
All Day Music
Slippin’ Into Darkness
The World Is A Ghetto
The Cisco Kid
Gypsy Man

Side 2
Me And Baby Brother
Southern Part Of Texas
Why Can’t We Be Friends ?
Low Rider