Classics: Average White Band – Pick Up The Pieces (Atlantic)
One of the best selling Funk formations in the world happened to be hailing from Scotland. Their name: Average White Band, equally known as AWB. Together with producer Arif Mardin, they reached the stars with the 1974 released horn driven ‘Pick Up The Pieces’. A track from their ‘AWB’ album, which stands as their signature cut.
Tragedy would soon after hit the young band back then when their drummer, Robbie McIntosh, died in a drug-related incident at a Hollywood party on Aug. 23, 1974, at the early age of 24.
Still active nowadays, Average White Band saw the light back in 1972. They made their debut on MCA the year after with the album ‘Show Your Hand’ although generating poor sales. Bruce McCaskill, who was Eric Clapton‘s tour manager, liked their music so much that he managed to get Atlantic Records to sign them. The group soon after released the ‘AWB’ album (also known as “The White Album”). It would be their first major success as for their producer, Arif Mardin, featuring the classic ‘Pick Up The Pieces’. With the rest almost becomin’ history from then…
Steve Ferrone came on to replace drummer Robbie McIntosh soon after his sudden death back then. The group capitalizing on their success with tracks such as ‘Cut The Cake’ and ‘Queen Of My Soul’, 2 UK hits. They then recorded ‘Benny And Us’ along with Ben E. King. An album which features the memorable ‘A Star In The Ghetto’.
Average White Band eventually partnered with producer Dan Hartman on ‘Cupid’s Fashion’ back in 1982, collaborating with songwriters such as Kashif and Harold Faltermeyer. They disbanded though a year later and reunited in 1989 to release a new album. ‘Aftershock’ (that’s its title) featured guest appearances by Chaka Khan. And also Ronnie Laws and The Ohio Players.
AWB have never ceased recording since, despite regular line-up modifications.
Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre are the only remaining original members of the band.
One of the highlights from their 1976 ‘Soul Searching’ album, the smooth ‘A Love Of Your Own’. A track which has resurfaced after 42 years. This under the form of a Disco/Funk fueled remix courtesy of Spanish producers Juan Chousa and Kanike for UK label Papa Records.