Average White Band

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Average White Band

Average White Band perform in Rochester, New York, on 9 May 2008
Background information
Also known asAWB
OriginDundee, Scotland
GenresBlue-eyed soul, funk, soul, disco
Years active1972–1982
1989–present
LabelsAtlantic, RCA, MCA, Rhino, Arista
Members
Onnie McIntyre
Alan Gorrie
Fred Vigdor
Rocky Bryant
Brent Carter
Monte Croft
Past members
Roger Ball
Malcolm "Molly" Duncan
Robbie McIntosh
Michael Rosen
Hamish Stuart
Steve Ferrone
Eliot Lewis
Alex Ligertwood
Pete Abbott
Adam Deitch
Brian Dunne
Klyde Jones
Morris Pleasure
 
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Average White Band

Average White Band perform in Rochester, New York, on 9 May 2008
Background information
Also known asAWB
OriginDundee, Scotland
GenresBlue-eyed soul, funk, soul, disco
Years active1972–1982
1989–present
LabelsAtlantic, RCA, MCA, Rhino, Arista
Members
Onnie McIntyre
Alan Gorrie
Fred Vigdor
Rocky Bryant
Brent Carter
Monte Croft
Past members
Roger Ball
Malcolm "Molly" Duncan
Robbie McIntosh
Michael Rosen
Hamish Stuart
Steve Ferrone
Eliot Lewis
Alex Ligertwood
Pete Abbott
Adam Deitch
Brian Dunne
Klyde Jones
Morris Pleasure

Average White Band (also AWB) is a Scottish funk and R&B band, who had a series of soul and disco hits between 1974 and 1980. They are best known for their million selling song, "Pick Up the Pieces" and their album Cut the Cake. The band name was initially proposed by Bonnie Bramlett. They have influenced others such as the Brand New Heavies, and been sampled by various musicians including the Beastie Boys, TLC, The Beatnuts, Too Short, Ice Cube, Eric B. & Rakim, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Arrested Development[1] - in turn making them the fifteenth most sampled act in history.[2] As of 2012, forty years after their formation, they continue to perform.

Contents

Career

AWB was formed in early 1972[3] by Alan Gorrie,[4] and Malcolm "Molly" Duncan, with Onnie McIntyre,[5] Michael Rosen (trumpet), Roger Ball and Robbie McIntosh,[6] joining them in the original line-up. Hamish Stuart [7] quickly replaced Rosen. Duncan and Ball, affectionately known as the Dundee Horns, studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (now part of the University of Dundee), and were previously members of Mogul Thrash. Gorrie and McIntyre had been members of Forever More. McIntyre and McIntosh were used as session musicians on Chuck Berry's recording of "My Ding-a-Ling".[3]

The band's breakthrough was a support slot at Eric Clapton's comeback concert in 1973. MCA Records released their debut album, Show Your Hand, which sold poorly.[8] Bruce McCaskill, who was Clapton's tour manager, liked the band's music and agreed to manage them. He borrowed money to take them to the US and to promote them. McCaskill had many contacts from his days with Clapton and managed to get Atlantic Records to sign them. The band relocated to Los Angeles, signed to Atlantic and released the follow-up, AWB, better known as "The White Album". This album was the first of many with renowned producer Arif Mardin, and reached #1 in the US Hot 100 chart.[8]

McIntosh died of an accidental heroin overdose at a Los Angeles party on 23 September 1974.[1][8] Gorrie also overdosed, but Cher kept him conscious until medical help arrived.[9] The NME reported in January 1975 that AWB played a benefit show for McIntosh's widow at the Marquee Club in London.[10] McIntosh was replaced by Steve Ferrone (previously of Bloodstone, and, like McIntosh, previously with Brian Auger's Oblivion Express).[1]

In 1975, the single "Pick Up The Pieces" - taken from the #1 AWB album - reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song knocked Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good" out of #1 and sold over one million copies. It was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in March 1975.[11] It also prompted The J.B.'s, the backup band of the "Godfather of Soul," James Brown, to record and release a song in reply,"Pick Up the Pieces, One by One," under the name AABB (Above Average Black Band). It was both a tribute to AWB's knowledge of funk and a tongue-in-cheek play on the Scottish band's name.

AWB followed up with the LPs Cut the Cake (1975) and Soul Searching (1976), both big sellers and yielding further Top 40 singles. Cut the Cake was dedicated by the surviving band members to McIntosh's memory. Their next LP, Benny & Us, was a collaboration with Ben E. King.[8]

After several more albums, AWB's audience and sales dwindled. Their 1980 disco hit "Let's Go Round Again" (UK #12),[12] was covered in the late 1990s by Louise. The group initially disbanded by 1982. Ferrone went on to work with Duran Duran whilst Hamish Stuart joined Paul McCartney's touring group.[8] In 1985 Gorrie released a solo album, Sleepless Nights. Gorrie, McIntyre, and Ball reunited in 1989 to record Aftershock, but Ball left the band shortly after its release.[3] and was replaced by Fred Vigdor (aka Freddy V). Eliot Lewis co-wrote with Gorrie on this album and joined the band, replacing lead singer Hamish Stuart.

Average White Band has continued recording (Soul Tattoo 1997, Face to Face, 1999) and touring since. When Eliot Lewis left the band in September 2002 to pursue other musical opportunities, he was replaced by Klyde Jones.[13] Their line-up then included Alan Gorrie (bass, lead vocals), Klyde Jones (guitar, keyboard, lead vocals), Onnie McIntyre (guitar, vocals), Freddy V (sax, keyboard, vocals) and Brian Dunne (drums). Gorrie and McIntyre are the only remaining original members of the band.

Dunne was replaced by Rocky Bryant as drummer for the 2006 tour.

Members

Current members
Former members

Discography

Studio albums

YearAlbumUKUS
1973Show Your Hand-391
1974AWB61
1975Cut the Cake284
1976Soul Searching609
1977Benny & Us-33
1978Warmer Communications-28
1979Feel No Fret1532
1980Shine14116
1982Cupid's In Fashion--
1989Aftershock--
1997Soul Tattoo--
2003Living In Colour--

Notes

Live albums

YearAlbumUKUS
1976Person To Person-28
1999Face To Face--
2006Soul & The City--
2009Times Squared--

Compilation albums

YearAlbumUKUS
1980Volume VIII-182
1994Let's Go Round Again38-
2005Greatest & Latest--

Charted singles

YearSingleUKUSR&B
1974Pick Up The Pieces615
1975Cut The Cake31107
If I Ever Lose This Heaven-3925
School Boy Crush-3322
1976Queen Of My Soul234021
A Love Of Your Own--35
1977Cloudy--55
Get It Up--21
1978Your Love Is A Miracle--33
1979Walk On By4692-
When Will You Be Mine?49-33
1980Let's Go Round Again125333
For You For Love46-60
1994Let's Go Round Again (Remix)56--

Other contributions

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd.. p. 24. ISBN 0-85112-072-5. 
  2. ^ "Average White Band interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' August 2011". Bluesandsoul.com. http://www.bluesandsoul.com/feature/714/alan_gorrie_awb_everybody_be_cool_real. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 36–37. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  4. ^ "Alan Gorrie". Scottish-places.info. http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst752.html. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Owen (Onnie) McIntyre". Scottish-places.info. http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst2298.html. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  6. ^ "Robert (Robbie) McIntosh 1950 - 1974". Scottish-places.info. http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst2301.html. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  7. ^ "Hamish Stuart". Scottish-places.info. http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst2297.html. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Average White Band". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p3591/biography. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Monday, Mar. 17, 1975 (1975-03-17). "Gorrie Overdose". Time.com. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,912985-6,00.html. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  10. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 272. CN 5585. 
  11. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 341. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 34. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  13. ^ "Averagewhiteband.com". Averagewhiteband.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. http://www.averagewhiteband.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 

External links