|"The Cisco Kid"|
|Single by War|
|from the album The World Is a Ghetto|
|B-side||"Beetles in the Bog"|
|War singles chronology|
"The Cisco Kid" is a song performed by War, and written by Thomas Allen; Harold Brown, Morris "BB" Dickerson, Charles Miller, Howard Scott; Lee Oskar and Lonnie Jordan, all members of War at the time. It is the first song on their 1972 album The World Is a Ghetto, and is the group's highest-charting song.
The song describes the adventures of Cisco and Pancho, two cowboys from the 1950s TV program The Cisco Kid. The song is known for having a different sequence of notes following each line. A distinct four-note phrase played by saxophone, harmonica, and flute punctuates the end of the first few lines, while a brief jam from the rhythm section follows the next couple. A completely different four-note phrase (this time played by guitar) follows some of the later lyrics, as well as lines of dialogue from the television show---and a three-note sequence repeated twice in a row is played by the harmonica and saxophone. These easy-to-remember hooks, along with the funk-driven rhythm section, make this song one of War's signature tunes, and the "most fun," according to lead vocalist and guitarist Scott.
In the US, "The Cisco Kid" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks at the end of April and start of May 1973, kept out of #1 by "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" by "Tony Orlando and Dawn" On the US R&B singles chart, it peaked at No. 5. It reached No. 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 singles chart. It was certified gold.
|April 27, 1973||US Billboard Hot 100||2|
|May 4, 1973||US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||5|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 608.
- "War Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- "War Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- "American single certifications – War – Cisco Kid". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 21, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.