Friday, July 13, 2007

Well Above Average


I'm a sucker for horns! It probably goes back to me buying big band 78 records at jumble sales in South London with my Dad in the 50s. I loved Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, If, and all those other jazz/rock bands. When the Average White Band came along they combined two of my big loves - horns and soul.

This album, known to their fans as the white album was their second and was released in 1974; it made No.1 in the US album charts. Produced by Arif Marden it has three of the best opening tracks of any album I know. The superbly uplifting 'You Got It', followed by the more subtle, yet beguiling, tones of 'Got To Love' and rounded out by 'Pick Up The Pieces' - this went to No.1 on the US Hot 100. For a bunch of white boys from Scotland this is real soul music. Tragically their drummer, Robbie McIntosh, died from a heroin overdose just as they broke through and he was replaced by Steve Ferrone who became the band's only black member. Other standout tracks include 'Work To Do' and the soft soul of 'Just Wanna Love You Tonight'.

After this a couple of more good albums followed, which yielded some great singles, including, 'Queen of My Soul', 'Let's Go Round Again' and 'If I Ever Lose This Heaven'. However, they never really scaled the heights of the AWB album, but none the less they should be both remembered and revered for giving us some of the best blue-eyed soul there's ever been

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah, what memories of the 6th form common room you've brought back, when the music played alternated between AWB and Supertramp. Must get on to Ebay and see if I can pick up a copy...

Richard Havers said...

Maybe I'll do Crime of the Century next week. Although having watched Roger Hodgson on the Diana concert the other week it came close to putting me off!

r morris said...

I agree about the horns. Love Chicago, and having spent time in DC growing up, the black bands also could stack the horns. I still love Earth, Wind & Fire. Quite possibly, their 'Got to Get you Into My Life' is the ONLY Beatles song that was covered better by somebody else (except perhaps "I Wanna Be Your Man" by the Stones).

I'm going to take your recommendation on this one and find the AWB.

I also have fond memories of Supertramp. 'Breakfast in America' was such a solid, creative album.

Richard Havers said...

EWF are GREAT. I agree on their Beatles cover too.

Crime of the Century is my favourite,

r morris said...

Sad news. This record/CD does not exist in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
I will have to order it from amazon or eBay.

ian russell said...

now that's an album I've never got around to buying. yeah, you got to love those horns.