War’s unlikely beginning–Eric Burdon basically picked the band members out of an LA bar to back him after he left the Animals–was followed by an unlikely continuation: after Burdon split, the band turned into a 70s-hit-making machine assaulting the Top 40 over and over again with an irresistible amalgam of Latin beats, funky playing, and pop smarts. I wouldn’t recommend their albums at this point, and even what should be a great Rhino compilation, The Best of War…and More, is indifferently programmed and disappointingly unannotated; but merely to remember some of the more memorable hits–the growly blues of “The Cisco Kid,” the glowing “All Day Music,” the groovy “Low Rider,” the outlandish “Spill the Wine,” and the absurd, delightful “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”–is to recall a wondrous period of Top 40 oddities that we in today’s musically balkanized world can only dream of. Next Friday, December 31, Drink, 541 W. Fulton; 441-0818.