Average White Band

One might say that The Average White Band was the British equivalent to the U.S. horn-driven funk band Tower of Power, and, in a lot of ways, they are. AWB first achieved commercial pop success in 1975 with the infectious dance instrumental (and No. 1 single) "Pick Up The Pieces," from their sophomore LP, AWB. Though their commercial breakthrough's predecessor, 1973's Show Your Hand sold poorly when it was released, the success of their second disc helped the album get the recognition it deserved.

At their best, the Dundee, Scotland-natives wrote extremely melodic, rhythmically tight songs that employ powerful horn arrangements and convincing vocals. After "Pick Up The Pieces" burned up the charts, the sextet encountered serious adversity during the recording of their 1975 follow-up Cut The Cake. Infighting and creative differences plagued the recoding sessions, and the band's drummer Robbie McIntosh died of a cocaine overdose. The group fought their way through the tumultuous period to release a solid, slightly more disco leaning, LP. The group folded in 1992, only to reform again seven years later.

AWB remains a working band today, although only guitarist Onnie McIntyre and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Alan Gorrie remain from the original lineup. Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Hamish Stuart eventually joined Paul McCartney's band from 1989 through 1993, and released several solo albums. Drummer Steve Ferrone also went on to play with McCartney, and has remained one of the most in-demand live touring drummers on the scene.

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