Now that they had a deal, it was time for the group to begin recording, which they did with 1973's "Show Your Hand,", which receives favorable reviews from the critics but fails to earn commercial success. The group decides to move to the U.S. to record their follow up record, which is turned down by MCA, leaving the group in limbo. Not knowing what to do next, the group learns that Atlantic Records guru Jerry Wexler is throwing a party, and decide to crash it, feeling that if he heard the music, he would give the group a deal. They were right, and Wexler signed the group immediately, and sent legendary producer Arif Mardin to the studio to work with them. The result was the group's 1975 breakout album, "AWB," which achieved Gold sales of over 500,000 copies. The album contained the hit "Pick up the Pieces," which went to #1 on the Billboard Pop chart and received a Grammy Nomination for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. The success was long awaited, but bittersweet at the same time, as the group had lost drummer Robbie McIntosh to a heroin overdose just prior to the album's release. New drummer Steve Ferrone was brought in for the group's next album "Cut The Cake," an album the group dedicated to Robbie's memory. The album's title track earns another Grammy Nomination, this time for best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, and the album hits #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart, thanks in part to standout album cuts like "Schoolboy Crush," and "If I Ever Lose This Heaven." The group's first Platinum album "Soul Searching" is released, containing the hit singles "Queen of My Soul." and "A Love of Your Own." The group released a live album entitled "Person to Person" as a follow-up to "Soul Searching," to showcase their live abilities to those listeners who had not yet gotten the chance to see the group in concert. The group released an album with soul legend Ben E. King entitled "Benny & Us" in 1977, and subsequently was chosen to form the core of the Altlantic All-Stars at the highly-regarded Montreaux Jazz festival. "Warmer Communications" was released in 1978, and the album featured the hit "Your Love's a Miracle." The group also tasted success the following year with the album "Feel No Fret," which featured the group's own spin on a remake of "Walk on By," and the pimp-strut beat of "Stop the Rain," a song that sounded as good in 1979 as it does today.
The Average White Band is still touring and releasing music today, in a career that now spans over four decades. One of the only groups to ever achieve the highest standards and accolades in Pop, Jazz, and R&B music simultaneously, the genius and impact of this legendary group cannot be overlooked or ignored. Standout songwriting, and melody and rhythm arrangements define this diverse group as much as its keen sense of groove and soul. They remain one of the most respected and accepted groups to ever hit the stage, and the individuals who have comprised this group over time have been asked to record with a who's who of musical greats. Although the soul and substance of this iconic group cannot possibly be limited to one album, check out their greatest hits album "Pickin Up The Pieces: The Best of the Average White Band," it's a great place to start.