"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. sample (help·info) 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. 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.
The song is in the key of F minor.
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."
In Movies, the song was heard during the General Zod, Ursa and Non bar fight scene in Superman II (1980). In 1999, was used in "Bowfinger", in 2004 in the US version of "Taxi" and in 2010, was used on "Iron Man 2". As a curious fact, "Bowfinger", featured Robert Downey Jr. and Terence Stamp, stars of "Iron Man 2" and "Superman II", both sequels of Superheroes movies from rival companies (DC Comics and Marvel Comics) and both featured the theme in scenes featuring the villains of the films.