It’s fair to say the Scots don’t suffer fools gladly, and we should be very glad they don’t, for this single-mindedness has done the nation proud when it comes to creating some of rock and pop’s most impassioned and era-defining music. In celebration of their achievements, we sink a dram or two and honour the ten best Scottish musicians of all time.
10: Average White Band
Despite their self-effacing name, there was nothing mediocre about pioneering Scottish funk and soul outfit Average White Band. Formed in Dundee early in 1972, the group had talent to burn, and while their debut album, Show Your Hand, failed to make waves, they relocated to Los Angeles and took the US by storm when their second album, the Arif Mardin-produced AWB, and its memorable spin-off single, Pick Up The Pieces, both topped the Billboard chart.
Further releases such as Cut The Cake (1975) and Soul Searching (1976) were also big sellers during the group’s mid-70s heyday, and AWB later tapped into the disco craze, scoring a UK Top 20 smash with 1980’s Let’s Go Round Again. The band had their ups and downs (original drummer Robbie McIntosh died of a heroin overdose), and dwindling sales pushed them into splitting in 1983. However, their reunion for Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary, in 1988, gave AWB a second wind, and their current line-up, featuring original members Alan Gorrie and Owen McIntyre, continues to tour. Their sleek rhythms and crisp beats have also been widely approved by the hip-hop community, and their catalogue has been sampled by heavy-hitters such as Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest and many more.
Must hear: Pick Up The Pieces