Sunday, April 30, 2017

Average White Band - Cut The Cake (1975)

“Cut The Cake” by Average White Band (1975)

Release Date: June 1975
Produced by Arif Mardin
Label: Atlantic

Chart Positions: #4 (US), #28 (UK), #21 (New Zealand)
Certifications: Gold (US)

Singles: “Cut The Cake” #10 (US), #31 (UK), “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” #39 (US), “School Boy Crush” #33 (US)

Cut the Cake is the third album released by Average White Band, released in 1975. This album included the hit single "Cut the Cake", the title track, which reached #10 on the US singles chart. Average White Band (also AWB) are a Scottish funk and R&B band that had a series of soul and disco hits between 1974 and 1980. They are best known for their million-selling instrumental track "Pick Up the Pieces" and the 1975 hit “Cut The Cake.

The follow-up album to the immensely successful AWB in 1974, recording was plagued by creative and artistic differences, with several members of the band walking out of the studio on three occasions. One point of conflict was the band's mourning for original drummer, Robbie McIntosh, who died of a heroin overdose in 1974. Producer Arif Mardin considered pulling the plug on the project due to this tension but ultimately persevered and oversaw its completion.

"Cut The Cake"

In the informative liner notes that he wrote for Rhino's early-'90s reissue of Cut the Cake, writer A. Scott Galloway explains that this excellent album was recorded under less-than-ideal circumstances. The Average White Band's original drummer, Robbie McIntosh, died of a heroin overdose in 1974, and the surviving members were still in mourning when they started working on their third album, Cut the Cake (which originally came out on LP in 1975). Steve Ferrone, a black drummer from London, England, was hired as a replacement -- ironically, he became the first black member of a Scottish soul/funk band that had a very African-American sound and a largely African-American following. Despite the fact that AWB's members still had McIntosh's death on their minds when they were writing and recording Cut the Cake, this isn't a depressing or consistently melancholy album; far from it. In fact, parts of the album are downright fun, especially up-tempo funk gems like "School Boy Crush," "Groovin' the Night Away" and the hit title song (which made it to number seven on Billboard's R&B singles chart). Cut the Cake is also the album that gave us the ballad "Cloudy" (one of the more melancholy tracks) and AWB's version of "If I Ever Lose This Heaven," a smooth soul classic that was originally recorded by Quincy Jones in 1973. The song wasn't a chart-buster -- it peaked at number 25 on Billboard's R&B singles chart -- but it did become a favorite amongst AWB fans and enjoyed a lot of exposure on quiet storm formats. AWB's members certainly don't sound like they're in mourning on Cut the Cake. If anything, they honor McIntosh's memory by showing their resilience and delivering one of their finest and most engaging albums.

Average White Band (1975)


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