After debuting with 1973's excellent but neglected Show Your Hand (later reissued as Put It Where You Want It), the Average White Band switched from MCA to Atlantic and hit big with this self-titled gem. Upon first hearing gutsy, Tower of Power-influenced funk like "Person to Person" and the instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces" (a number one R&B hit), many soul fans were shocked to learn that not only were the bandmembers white – they were whites from Scotland. Like Teena Marie five years later, AWB embraced soul and funk with so much conviction that it was clear this was anything but an "average" white band. This album is full of treasures that weren't big hits but should have been – including the addictive "You Got It," the ominous "There's Always Someone Waiting," and a gutsy remake of the Isley Brothers' "Work to Do." [When Rhino reissued AWB on CD in 1995, an edited live version of "Pick Up the Pieces" recorded at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival was added. (The full-length version had been included on Rhino's 1994 reissue of Warmer Communications.)[/quote]
With a unique sound drawing from early funk and Motown sounds, Average White Band might be one of the most inaccurately named bands in history (especially considering both their percussionists are black). Hailing from Scotland, Average White Band's fast songs sound like the Funky Meters and their slow songs sound like old Motown. While they wear their inspirations on their sleeves, they still managed to develope a very unique sound, laying down some really great funk grooves. This performance at the Montreux Jazz festival in 1977 comes shortly after their best known albums, and contains quite a few of their biggest hits. Admittedly, Average White Band isn't the most poetic of songwriting teams, even in the soul and funk genres.
At 30 years old, I looked in the mirror and saw complacency. I saw a man settling into normalcy, settling into being average. At first glance, my initial thought was to just accept it. “it’s just part of the process, just part of aging and life. Get over it. ” So, at a crossroads in my life, I could just fall in line with the rest of the people on the assembly line of commonplace. Just waiting in line to see which disease will be handed to me, and which medications modern medicine will enslave me to……… Or…….. I could take the path less traveled. I could make a push at my limitless potential. I could try to reset my intelligently designed body to heal itself! That is crazy enough, it just might work! So, this is my 60 day journey into finding my limitless me. What kind of an effect can eating raw, clean foods and working out consistently have on my mental, physical, medical, emotional, spiritual, and relational life? We will see as I am an AVERAGE JOE ON THE RAW!
Long after the Average White Band disappeared from the charts, its impact was being felt. Hip-hop, urban contemporary and new jack swing artists sampled AWB's '70s classics to death in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s, and such retro acts as the Brand New Heavies wore AWB's influence like a badge of honor. When Soul Tattoo was released in mid-1997, AWB was a quintet.Longtime AWB fans will be glad to hear how well Gorrie's voice has held up, and they'll definitely find Soul Tattoo to be inspired and satisfying.