Corvettes and music that rocks, a perfect fit. With our new column here at Corvette Online, ‘Vette Tunes, we’ll dig into the great pop songbook and pick out a killer track and the appropriate era ‘Vette to go with it. Although any Chevy two-seater will do, we’ll stitch together the events, trends and groovy garb of the day to give you a technicolor blast of aural ear candy and a killer playlist addition to your next Corvette cruise.
Song of The Week- Average White Band’s “Cut The Cake,” Live On “Soul Train” TV Show From 1975
What does a band from Scotland, a producer from Istanbul, Turkey and funky soul music have in common? “Cut The Cake,” by the Average White Band, produced by Arif Mardon.
Back in 1975 when this song was released, there were just two kinds of music: good and bad. Didn’t matter what color you were or which “genre” you played, if it cooked, radio played it across formats and it was heard throughout the land.
Average White Band–AWB–had a series of soul and disco hits between 1974 and 1980. They hit the big time with the track “Pick Up the Pieces,” and their albums AWB and Cut the Cake.
They’ve influenced bands such as the Brand New Heavies, and been sampled by the Beastie Boys, TLC, The Beatnuts, Too Short, Ice Cube, Eric B. & Rakim, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Arrested Development–to name a few– making them one of the most sampled act in history. They still continue to play 40 years after their formation.
Today, Average White Band might be accused of “appropriation,” but one listen and all that new-age nonsense becomes irrelevant. Their talent and musical chops do all the talking here.
Arif Mardin, soon to become uber famous and rich by producing the Bee Gees/Saturday Night Fever album, has his smooth analog sound present and accounted for here as well.
The Perfect, Era Appropriate ‘Vette
Try and imagine a brand new 1975 Corvette outside of a discotheque with “Cut The Cake” wafting out of the club. Add bellbottoms, a Qianna print shirt and platform shoes to complete the vibration.
In 1975, Gerald Ford had been president for a year, oil went over $13.00 per barrel, the British Conservative Party chose it’s first women leader, Margaret Thatcher, the Vietnam War ends and Sony introduces Betamax and Matsushita introduces VHS.
1975 was not a good year for Corvettes. The big block and any semblance of factory horsepower was gone. The new soft bumper look started in 1974 was refined with a seemless rear fascia and little black pads front and rear. 1975 would be the last year for a roadster until 1986.
Why It Rocks
The rhythm section is a syncopated delight. These guys were devout disciples of the James Brown school of funky grooves and it shows. Poppin’ horn hits and the 4/4 disco beat are damn near irresistible. There is much sexual innuendo imagery aka “gimme that cake” and “it tastes so good don’t pass it all around.”
Last but not least, if you’re asked by the legendary Don Cornelius to appear on Soul Train, you dusted off your best game and these guys “brought it” with this killer live performance.
TURN IT UP.