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Average White Band Biography

Home > Music > A > Average White Band > Biography

Birth Place: Dundee, Scotland
Years Active: 1972-1982, 1989-present
Genres: Blue-Eyed Soul, Funk, Soul, Disco

Average White Band is a Scottish funk and R&B band, who rose to the height of their success in the mid-1970s and early 1980s with a series of soul and disco hits. The band is best known for their hit song, “Pick Up the Pieces.” Average White Band was formed in 1972 when Alan Gorrie, Malcolm Duncan, Michael Rosen, Roger Ball, and Robbie McIntosh, all came together. Soon after formation, Hamish Stuart replaced Rosen. The band's breakthrough came with a supporting slot on Eric Clapton's comeback tour in 1973. After gaining exposure to a whole new fan base the band put out their debut album, “Show Your Hand.” The band relocated to Los Angeles, signed with Atlantic Records, and released their follow-up album, “AWB” (The White Album). The album peaked at #1 on the U.S Hot 100 Chart. However, tragedy struck in 1974 when McIntosh died of an accidental heroin overdose and was replaced a year later by Steve Ferrone.

The single “Pick Up The Pieces” off the band's debut album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and shot the band to instant fame. Average White Band's second offering, “Cut the Cake” appeared in 1975, followed by “Soul Searching” in 1976. Both albums were a commercial success and a hit with their fans. After several more albums, the band's popularity, and sales, began to dwindle. 1980 saw the band score a hit with “Let's Go Round Again,” peaking at #12 on the U.K. Singles Chart. By 1982, Average White Band decided to call it quits. Ferrone went on to work with Duran Duran; Stuart joined Paul McCartney's touring group; and Gorrie released a solo album, “Sleepless Nights” in 1985. 1989 saw Gorrie, McIntyre, and Ball reunite to record “Aftershock” with Ball exiting after the album was released. Fred Vigdor and Eliot Lewis joined the band during the early 1990s.

Average White Band continued to record albums throughout the 1990s and tour, with Lewis departing in 2002 to focus on other musical projects; he was replaced by Klyde Jones. From the early 2000s onward the band's line-up has remained fairly stable with Gorrie on bass and lead vocals; Klyde Jones on guitar and keyboard; Onnie McIntyre on guitar; Freddy V on sax; and Brian Dunne on drums. Gorrie and McIntyre are the only remaining original members of the band as AWB continues to tour and perform live.