Pick Up The Pieces – AWB | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#5); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

AWB, the Average White Band, grew out of Forevermore and the Dundee Horns, two local bands plying their trade around Glasgow, Scotland at the dawn of the 1970’s. The musicians shared a love of American jazz, R&B, and soul, and were soon playing at European clubs and military bases.

The band’s amusing name came courtesy of Bonnie Bramlett who was a featured performer – in Delaney & Bonnie – when AWB caught its big break as a supporting act for Eric Clapton’s 1973 London comeback concert. After a failed album and tour, a subsequent drop from their label ultimately proved lucky for AWB as they were signed to Atlantic Records, and placed in the hands of producer Arif Mardin.

Included on the AWB album was Pick Up The Pieces, a funky horns-and-guitars-driven instrumental written by members Roger Ball and Hamish Stuart, that caught fire at both R&B and pop radio. On February 22, 1975, AWB took over the #1 spot on both the singles and albums charts.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Arif Mardin

Lyrics Written by:

  • Roger Ball
  • Malcolm Duncan
  • Alan Gorrie
  • Onnie McIntyre
  • Hamish Stuart
  • Robbie McIntosh