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Average White Band

Average White Band - Greatest and Latest - 2005 - Liquid 8

I will admit that, while I've long thought that the Average White Band was one of the truly great bands of the 70s, seeing their fine performance at last year's Rock N Soul Revue (the first time I'd seen them in years) reinvigorated my interest in the AWB of today. It also made me look forward to the release of Greatest and Latest, a portion of which was previewed during the show. Unfortunately, during its dormant years of 1982-87 AWB lost many of its passing fans -- even though the band still had a lot of good music left. In this regard G&L is a great way to catch up, as it compiles some of the best material that the reunited AWB has released over the past 15 years and includes four previously unreleased cuts. While producers have on several occasions during AWB's career attempted to tinker with the group's raw, loose sound to better match the then-popular style (whether it be late 70s disco or 80s electronic pop), AWB has always been at its best making jazz-infused funky music in the tradition of James Brown. So while the slick, upbeat material pulled here from 1989's Aftershock is okay (and includes such guest artists as Chaka Khan and Ronnie Laws), it isn't particularly distinctive -- it could just as easily been a Steve Winwood release, circa 1985. However, G&L hits its raw, organic groove beginning with the tunes taken from 1997's excellent Soul Tattoo, especially the blistering funk of "Oh Maceo" (the group's best instrumental piece since "Pick Up the Pieces"), the solid midtempos "Window to Your Soul," "When We Get Down to It" and "I Wanna Be Loved" (with Daryl Hall) and "Every Beat of My Heart," a cut I've long thought was one of AWB's finest ballads. And the new material included on the album is strong, including the jazzy concert favorite "In The Beginning," a new instrumental mix of "Work to Do" (though the group's original version remains seminal) and a good cover of Major Harris's Soul classic "Love Won't Let Me Wait." For those who haven't purchased an Average White Band disc in awhile, Greatest & Latest is a nice reintroduction and a reminder of the great talent and creativity this legendary group continues to bring to Soul music. Recommended. . © CR, © 2003-2009 by Christopher Rizik and SoulTracks, LLC

This album shows the strength and greatness of one of the world's greatest soul/ R&B/ /funk groups. "Greatest and Latest" is a more subdued AWB album, and some of their classic tracks are not here, but that's no major gripe. What is here is just great. Here is collection of 16 tracks spanning 16 years from one of the most sampled bands ever and is culled from their 4 previous album releases and featuring 2 exclusive recordings including 'Work To Do' - Nu Jazz Mix and 2 rare live performance recordings. Special guests include Daryl Hall, Alex Ligertwood, Ronnie Laws, Bobby Mayo, and Chaka Khan. The Average White Band recorded some superb albums, and their "Atlantic Avenue", "Pick Up The Pieces", and "You Got It" are three of the best soul/funk songs ever written. Listen to their "Cut the Cake," and "Person to Person" albums, and check out the band's rare 1974 "AWB/The Clover Sessions" album, a 20-track remastered promotional 2 x CD-R acetate album set @ AWB/COVSS The band's debut album, "Show Your Hand " is @ AWB/SYH and showed the future potential of the band, and the very good Average White Band & Ben E. King - "Benny And Us" album can be located @ AWB/BEK/B&U N.B: "Greatest and Latest" is also available in a CD/DVD edition. Some releases contain the additional track "Let's Go Round Again (live at the London Empire)", which is not included on this post


Spirit of Love (with Chaka Kahn and Ronnie Laws)
Pick up the Pieces - (Nujazz mix)
In the Beginning (live at the MT. Fuji Festival Japan)
Let's Go All the Way (with Chaka Kahn)
Ill Get Over You
Love at First Sight (with Alex Ligertwood)
Every Beat of My Heart (with Klyde Jones)
When We Get Down to it
Oh Maceo (live at the Fillmore)
Do Ya Really
I Wanna Be Loved (featuring Daryl Hall)
Window to Your Soul
Living in Colour
Work to Do ((Nu-Jazz Mix featuring Klyde Jones)
Love Won't Let Me Wait

Average White Band: Klyde Jones, Alan Gorrie (vocals, keyboards, bass guitar); Onnie McIntyre (guitar); Roger Ball (saxophone); Brian Dunne (drums).
Guests - Daryl Hall, Alex Ligertwood, Ronnie Laws, Bobby Mayo, Chaka Khan.


Their self-effacing name to the contrary, Average White Band was anything but -- one of the few white groups to cross the color line and achieve success and credibility playing funk, with their tight, fiery sound also belying their Scottish heritage, evoking American R&B hotbeds like Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia instead. Singer/bassist Alan Gorrie, guitarists Hamish Stuart and Onnie McIntyre, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, keyboardist/saxophonist Roger Ball, and drummer Robbie McIntosh comprised the original Average White Band lineup. Veterans of numerous Scottish soul and jazz groups, they made their debut in 1973 as the opening act at Eric Clapton's Rainbow Theatre comeback gig, soon issuing their debut LP, Show Your Hand, to little notice. After adopting the abbreviated moniker AWB, a year later the band issued their self-titled sophomore effort, topping the American pop charts with the Arif Mardin-produced instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces." The record's mammoth success was nevertheless tempered by the September 23, 1974 death of McIntosh, who died at a Hollywood party after overdosing on heroin. Ex-Bloodstone drummer Steve Ferrone replaced McIntosh for AWB's third album, 1975's Cut the Cake, which scored a Top Ten hit with its title track as well as two other chart entries, "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" and "School Boy Crush." (Put It Where You Want It, issued later that same year, was simply a retitled and repackaged Show Your Hand.) With 1976's Soul Searching, the group reclaimed the full Average White Band name, scoring their final Top 40 hit with "Queen of My Soul." Following the live Person to Person, they issued Benny & Us, a collaboration with soul legend Ben E. King. However, after subsequent outings, including 1978's Warmer Communications, 1979's Feel No Fret, and 1980's Shine, failed to recapture the energy of AWB's peak, the group dissolved in 1982, with Ferrone later joining Duran Duran and Stuart recording with Paul McCartney. Gorrie, Ball, and McIntyre reformed Average White Band in 1989, tapping vocalist Alex Ligertwood for their comeback effort Aftershock. Oft-sampled by hip-hop producers throughout the 1990s, the group continued touring prior to releasing Soul Tattoo in 1996. The live album, Face to Face, followed three years later. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


A.O.O.F.C said...

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for keepin' da' Funk alive!


A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,MoonBear. Howzitgoin? Da Funk is alive and kickin' with A.O.O.F.C. TTU soon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this A.O.O.F.C. My dad has been looking for this and this will be a nice surprise for him.


A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks Vin, & hello Dad! Thanks for comment, & please keep in touch