Average White Band

The AWB - as they're affectionately called - are a rare British band to win mainstream success as well as widespread respect in America playing in a rootsy and authentic funk style. Alan Gorrie and Malcolm Duncan originally put the band together in 1972 with Onnie McIntyre, Hamish Stuart, Roger Ball and Robbie McIntosh to give a driving brass sound to funk and disco music. A support slot on an Eric Clapton show in 1973 brought them to international attention and, although their debut album Show Your Hand flopped, they found fame in America, where they were signed to Atlantic Records. Produced by Arif Mardin, their White Album went huge in the US, topping the album charts. Tragedy struck when Robbie McIntosh died of a heroin overdoes in LA in 1974, but the band replaced him with Steve Ferrone in time for their biggest success with the Number 1 hit instrumental single Pick Up The Pieces. They continued their run of success with the albums Cut The Cake (1975) and Soul Searching (1976) and gained further credibility collaborating with Ben E. King on the album Benny & Us. The band had another hit in 1980 with the disco sound of Let's Go Round Again, but split in 1982 when Ferrone quit to join Duran Duran and Hamish Stuart joined Paul McCartney's touring band. They reunited in 1989 and, with a changing line-up built around the two remaining original members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre, continued to record and tour through the 1990s and 2000s.

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