[9 October 2011]
The Average White Band had its first hit in 1974 with “Pick Up the Pieces” and its last major international chart success in 1980 with “For You for Love”, so this 1977 recording finds the band, more or less, at the peak of its commercial success. “Pick Up the Pieces” opens the set, which also includes the smooth “A Love of Your Own”, the funkiest of the funky “Sweet & Sour” and an epic version of another AWB classic “Cut the Cake”. It’s on “Sweet & Sour”, “Cut the Cake” and “Pick Up the Pieces” that the band’s at its best. On the whole, this is hardly a defining moment for the group, and a nearly 12-minute jam on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” doesn’t really help raise the bar.