Pick Up the Pieces (Average White Band Song)
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Pick Up the Pieces Average White Band Song
"Pick Up the Pieces"
Average white band-pick up the pieces s 2.jpg
Single by Average White Band
from the album AWB
"Work to Do"
Released July 1974
Format 7"
Recorded 1974
Genre Funk, jazz-funk
Length 3:59 (Album Version)
3:02 (Single Version)
Label Atlantic
Roger Ball, Malcolm Duncan, Alan Gorrie, Onnie McIntyre, Hamish Stuart, Robbie McIntosh
Arif Mardin
Average White Band singles chronology
"Put It Where You Want It"
(1974)
"Pick Up the Pieces"
(1974)
"How Can You Go Home"
(1974)

"Put It Where You Want It"
(1974)
"Pick Up the Pieces"
(1974)
"How Can You Go Home"
(1974)

"Pick Up the Pieces" is a 1974 song by the Average White Band from their second album, AWB. On the single, songwriting credit was given to founding member and saxophonist Roger Ball and guitarist Hamish Stuart individually and the entire band collectively. It is essentially an instrumental, apart from the song's title being shouted at several points in the song.

Background

The guitar line of the song came from Hamish Stuart, while Roger Ball wrote the first part of the horn melody. The song was produced by Arif Mardin. According to Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan, he had disagreed with releasing the song as a single because the song is a "funk instrumental played by Scotsmen with no lyrics other than a shout". He also said about the shouts of "Pick up the pieces": "It's about picking yourself up when things aren't going well. We'd spent a lot of time making no money whatsoever, so it felt very relevant."[1] The song is an extended long version (18:06) on the live Person To Person album (1976) and (21:40) on the various artists album The Atlantic Family Live at Montreux (1977). The tenor saxophone solo on the Montreux version is by noted jazz instrumentalist Michael Brecker. The solo on the original release is by Molly Duncan.

Chart performance

"Pick Up the Pieces" was released in the United Kingdom in July 1974 but failed to chart. When the album was released in the United States in October 1974, radio stations there started to play the song, and on 22 February 1975, it went to the top of the US singles chart and peaked at number five on the soul charts.[2]Billboard ranked it as the No. 20 song for 1975. After its US success, the song charted in the UK and climbed to number six. "Pick Up the Pieces" also made it to number eleven on the US disco chart.[3]

Key signature

The song is in the key of F minor.

In popular culture

After the song's success, The J.B.'s recorded an answer song, "Pick Up the Pieces One By One". The single was credited to "A.A.B.B.", or "Above Average Black Band". Reportedly, the primary motivation for the answer song was the appropriation of the bass line to James Brown's "Hot Pants Road".[4]

References

  1. ^ Simpson, Dave (14 August 2017). "Average White Band: how we made Pick Up the Pieces". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 39. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 26. 
  4. ^ "A.A.B.B. - Pick Up the Pieces One By One | Funky16Corners". Funky16corners.wordpress.com. 2007-03-08. Retrieved . 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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