Listen to this song by self-effacing Scottish funk disciples Average White Band with their horntastic early-1975 hit, “Pick Up The Pieces” as taken from their album AWB. If you don’t feel the need to shake yer thang while this is playing, check your pulse –  if you have one.

[clearspring_widget title=”Grooveshark Widget: Single Song” wid=”48f3f305ad1283e4″ pid=”497e8acc1ffe2a5e” width=”400″ height=”50″ domain=””]

“Pick Up the Pieces”  is one of my favourite pieces of music by anyone, just a powerhouse  of unstoppable joy; sweaty, funky, sexy, fun.  I love the tightly knit  JBs-influenced horn section, the rhythmic guitar figure, the popping bass, and the crisp backbeat that pushes the whole thing along.  I love the call-and-response horn shots during the tenor sax solo.  And I love  when the groove hits its stride and someone loses control of their enthusiasm, giving it up into a great big ‘WOOOOO!!”

Average White Band, indeed.  If only.

There’s a story about the recording of this song, which I kind of hope is true, and wouldn’t surprise me if it was.  I read it in The Mojo Collection: The Greatest Albums of All Time, in which AWB is listed.   The band, under the leadership of drummer Robbie McIntosh, recorded the track and gathered together in the booth to listen to the playback.  On hearing it, each member of the band turned to the next: “That’s Us!”  And then they started jiving around the studio, knowing that they had a hit.

The success of the single, and the album would be marred by tragedy.  McIntosh would die not long afterward as the result of taking a lethal dose of heroin at a Hollywood party, thinking it to be cocaine.  The band would go on without him, making some of the finest funk ever to be made on either side of the pond.

For more information about Average White Band, check out Average White Band on MySpace.

And for all of you hardcore musos,  check out this article detailing the anatomy of the song.


2 thoughts on “Average White Band Perform ‘Pick Up the Pieces’

  1. The thing that never ceases to amuse me, on so many levels, is that in South Africa the acronym AWB applies to the white supremacist, neo-Nazi organisation known as the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement). Very much a band of decidedly average white men.

    Before the democratic election in 1994, these clowns “invaded” the homeland of Bophuthatswana (where Sun City is located) in some bizarre act of resistance to the impending formal death of apartheid. But instead of tanks, they had old Mercedes cars. The while thing went down live on TV. One moment three racist invader-herberts were interviewed on TV, 20 minutes later we saw them sprawled against their Merc, shot dead by the homeland soldiers whom they hoped to fight alongside with. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed something quite as bizarre.

    Damn, I should’ve reserved that story for my blog.

What are your thoughts, Good People? Tell it to me straight.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.