Pick Up the Pieces (Average White Band song)

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"Pick Up the Pieces"
Single by Average White Band
from the album AWB
B-side "Work to Do"
Released July 1974
Format 7"
Recorded 1974
Genre Funk, jazz-funk
Length 3:59 (album), 3:02 (single)
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Average White Band
Producer(s) Arif Mardin
Average White Band singles chronology
"Put It Where You Want It"
"Pick Up the Pieces"
"How Can You Go Home"

"Pick Up the Pieces" is a 1974 song by the Average White Band from their second album, AWB. On the single, songwriting credit was given to founding member and saxophonist Roger Ball and guitarist Hamish Stuart individually and the entire band collectively. It is essentially an instrumental, apart from the song's title being shouted at several points in the song.About this sound sample  The song features an intro 4 measures of Csus7#9, sus 4 (C F Bb Eb) afterwards in the theme 8 measures of Fm7 (F Ab C Eb), 2 measures of Bb7 (Bb D F Ab), 4 measures of Fm7.

"Pick Up the Pieces" was released in the United Kingdom in July 1974 but failed to chart. When the album was released in the United States in October 1974, radio stations there started to play the song, and on 22 February 1975, it went to the top of the US singles chart and peaked at number five on the soul charts.[1] Billboard ranked it as the No. 20 song for 1975.[2] After its US success, the song charted in the UK and climbed to number six. "Pick Up the Pieces" also made it to number eleven on the US disco chart.[3]

Key Signature[edit]

The song is in the key of F minor.

References in popular culture[edit]

After the song's success, The J.B.'s recorded an answer song, "Pick Up the Pieces One By One". The single was credited to "A.A.B.B", or "Above Average Black Band". Reportedly, the primary motivation for the answer song was the appropriation of the bass line to James Brown's "Hot Pants Road".[4]

It is heard in a 2013 TV commercial for Bank of America.

The song is one of many unusual cover songs the accordion-based comedy rock band Those Darn Accordions have performed live.

The song was heard during the General Zod, Ursa and Non bar fight scene in Superman II (1980). It was also used in the 1999 film Bowfinger, the US version of the 2004 film Taxi and the 2010 film Iron Man 2.

By coincidence, Bowfinger featured Robert Downey, Jr. and Terence Stamp, stars of Iron Man 2 and Superman II, respectively, both of which were sequels to superhero films featuring characters from rival companies (DC Comics and Marvel Comics), and both featured the theme in scenes featuring the villains of the films.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 39. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1975
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 26. 
  4. ^ http://funky16corners.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/aabb-pick-up-the-pieces-one-by-one/

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 22, 1975
Succeeded by
"Best of My Love" by Eagles