1974, Music

AWB (1974)

You know “Pick Up the Pieces”. Even if you think you don’t, you do. You’ve heard it hundreds or perhaps thousands of times. I had no idea what it was or where it was from but when I heard it on this record, I was like, “oh that song!” It’s one of those songs that has been used a lot in media and now it’s just part of the fabric of our culture.

The good news is that it is on this record. The bad news is that it is far and away the best thing on the record. This is a band that succeeds when it is playing instrumentals; they succeed in convincing you they are not an Average White Band but rather a pretty good instrumental soul funk outlet. But then the vocals come.

The vocal tracks on this record remind me of a less compelling version of the Doobie Brothers when they switched to blue eyed soul, only with a lot more horns and a lot less rock. It just does nothing for me and it feels like a pale facsimile (pardon the terrible pun) of the genuine article, a genre I don’t like to begin with. (What I mean is I already don’t like my soul slick, but I particularly don’t like it when it feels filtered through a soft rock lens or whatever it is they are filtering it through. I don’t know what kind of music they were listening to in Scotland back then.)

But everything is very competent. I may not like the songs or the vocals or the production but these guys are certainly very good musicians, which is likely why they chose their name.


  1. “You Got It” (Roger Ball, Hamish Stuart, Alan Gorrie) – 3:38
  2. “Got the Love” (Stuart, Ball, Robbie McIntosh) – 3:52
  3. “Pick Up the Pieces” (Average White Band) – 3:58
  4. “Person to Person” (Average White Band) – 3:38
  5. “Work to Do” (O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley) – 4:21
  6. “Nothing You Can Do” (Gorrie, Stuart, Ball) – 4:06
  7. “Just Wanna Love You Tonight” (Ball, Gorrie) – 3:57
  8. “Keepin’ It to Myself” (Gorrie) – 3:52
  9. “I Just Can’t Give You Up” (Stuart) – 3:24
  10. “There’s Always Someone Waiting” (Gorrie) – 5:38

All songs arranged by Average White Band. All horn parts arranged by Roger Ball.

  • Alan Gorrie – lead vocals (on “Keepin’ It To Myself” and “There’s Always Someone Waiting”), co-lead vocals (on “You Got It”, “Work To Do”, “Nothing You Can Do”, and “Just Wanna Love You Tonight”), background vocals, bass, guitar (on “You Got It”)
  • Hamish Stuart – lead vocals (on “Got The Love”, “Person To Person”, and “I Just Can’t Give You Up”), co-lead vocals (on “You Got It”, “Work To Do”, “Nothing You Can Do”, and “Just Wanna Love You Tonight”), background vocals, lead guitar, bass (on “You Got It”)
  • Roger Ball – keyboards, alto & baritone saxophones
  • Molly Duncan – tenor saxophone
  • Onnie McIntyre – background vocals, guitar, guitar solo on “Work To Do”
  • Robbie McIntosh – drums, percussion

Additional musicians:

  • Ralph MacDonald – congas, percussion
  • Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone
  • Randy Brecker – trumpet
  • Marvin Stamm – trumpet
  • Mel Davis – trumpet
  • Glenn Ferris – trombone
  • Ken Bichel – mellotron (on “Just Wanna Love You Tonight”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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