The 10 Hidden Gems From Bread
via PERUVEN (Jorge Fuxá) / Youtube
It’s tough to ignore Bread in the canon of essential soft rock bands. Their songs are a pure mellow treasure, never straying away from an easy listening tempo. Five albums were published by the band between 1969 and 1973; following a break, they reunited to create a sixth and final album, Lost Without Your Love, in 1977. It’s safe to assume that without Bread, the soft rock genre wouldn’t have flourished. While the band proudly presents their classics such as “If” and “Aubrey,” there are still several hidden gems from their catalog worth revisiting. Take a look at them below.
“Baby I’m-a Want You” – Baby I’m-a Want You (1972)
David Gates has remarked that writing the song on the keyboard was more difficult than writing some of the group’s previous hits, but that it sprang to life when he switched to the guitar and changed the key. It was Bread’s most successful single since Make It With You, reaching No. 3 in the United States and the Top 20 in the United Kingdom, and solidifying the band’s place at the forefront of the soft rock genre.
“Sweet Surrender” – Guitar Man (1972)
Their sixth studio album, Guitar Man, featured the single “Sweet Surrender” in 1972. One of the band’s last number ones in the charts, this tune is light and melodious.
“It Don’t Matter To Me” – Bread (1969)
One of Bread’s most cherished songs is “It Don’t Matter To Me,” Gates’ unselfish, introspective anthem. After the success of 1970’s Make it With You, the band re-recorded the song and released it as a single. The original version can be found buried deep in the album’s original 1969 release.
“Lost Without Your Love” – Lost Without Your Love (1977)
Bread returned to the charts with “Lost Without Your Love” after an absence of over three and a half years. Their last album’s title track was a love song that became a hit and helped send the band goodbye in style.
“Diary” – Baby I’m-a Want You (1972)
The third single from the album Baby I’m-a Want You, peaked at #3 on the Easy Listening charts when it was released in 1972. Here, Gates provides vocals for a spare track about a man who discovers his lover’s diary and ends up with more information than he prepared for.
“The Guitar Man” – Guitar Man (1972)
The song’s soft, acoustic rhythm invites us into the story of the mythological road musician. For just a moment, Gates lets us in on the action, but then he deftly shifts our focus back to the chorus, the groovy electric wah-wah lead, and everything else the guitar maestro has to offer. The song’s catchy hook will be on your mind long after the lights have been turned off, thanks to its introspective and contemplative nature.
“Everything I Own” – Baby I’m-a Want You (1972)
Everything I Own, with its catchy, galloping chorus, was a watershed moment for the group. However, you may be surprised to hear that it wasn’t penned with a specific lover in mind. Gates wrote the song as an ode to his father, Clarence, who had a significant impact on his son’s musical development.
“If” – Manna (1971)
“If” is an example of Gates’ ability to create something philosophically deep yet generally accessible, the piece is dreamy and lovelorn. In the wake of “If”, Gates released a string of quiet guitar ballads.
“Make It with You” – On the Waters (1970)
The song “Make It With You” is one of the best easy-listening songs ever. The combination of David Gates’ soft singing and the ethereal quality of the music is hypnotic. It’s one of their most recognizable songs, and for a good reason: it’s simply classic.
“Aubrey” – Guitar Man (1972)
David Gates got the idea for his wonderful song “Aubrey” while watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which starred Audrey Hepburn. There’s also the possibility that the film’s inclusion of the timeless song “Moon River” had an impact on Gates. The song’s emotional impact is enhanced by his decision to establish a broad harmonic range against a decreasing bass line.