Pickin’ Up the Pieces with Average White Band

Posted on 2011-07-05.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The Average White Band for their second album, AWB, wrote by far the group’s most successful song, “Pick Up the Pieces” in 1974. It has become one of the most recognizable grooves in funk music. When the song was released in the UK in 1974, the track failed to chart. However, the song made an impression in the United States, and soon it climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on February 22, 1975.

Since the beginning, “Pick Up the Pieces” has been used in many films, television shows, video games and more! Here are some examples of the media in which the song left its mark. “Pick Up The Pieces,” was used:

• In 1977, The Jacksons danced to it on their CBS TV show along with actor Dom DeLuise.
• In the 1980 movie Superman II
• The song was featured during the opening title sequence of the film The Spirit of ’76 (1990)
• In “The Way We Was”, an episode from the second season of The Simpsons
• On the comedy Martin, performed by the character Hustle Man
• In the 1996 movie Swingers
• In the 1996 movie The People vs. Larry Flynt
• In the 1998 film/play Freak
• Used as the theme for German political talk show Sabine Christiansen (1998–2007)
• In the Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy vehicle Bowfinger, released in 1999
• In the 2002 film Undercover Brother
• In the 2002 film Crazy as Hell
• In the 2004 film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
• In the 2004 film Taxi starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon
• In the 2005 movie Roll Bounce
• In the 2006 movie Running with Scissors
• In the video game Driver: Parallel Lines
• Used as the “theme” for “Wake Up Wakefield!”, a recurring sketch on SNL starring Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz. The theme was played by the fictional Wakefield Middle School jazz group Jazzx10 (also written Jazz x 10).
• In the 2008 comedy Semi-Pro
• Is downloadable content in the Rock Band series.
• Sam Rockwell’s character Justin Hammer dances to the song in Iron Man 2.
• The song was used numerous times in the video game, Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon.

Here is a clip of AWB performing the song at Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary in 1988.

“Pick Up The Pieces,” is a song that has stood the test of time. Now that you’ve had a refresher, all there’s left to do is groove! Be sure to catch Average White Band and Brian Culbertson on July 7th!