― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:13 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:24 (10 years ago) Permalink
Bread was one of the most popular pop groups of the early '70s, earning a string of well-crafted, melodic soft-rock singles, all of which were written by keyboardist/vocalist David Gates. A session musician and producer, Gates met guitarist/vocalist James Griffin in 1968, who had already released a solo album called Summer Holiday. Griffin hired Gates to produce a new album, and the pair soon became a group, adding guitarist/vocalist Robb Royer from the band Pleasure Faire, who Gates had produced early in their career. The trio soon signed with Elektra Records, becoming one of the label's first pop bands. Naming themselves Bread, the group released their self-titled debut album in late 1968. Although it was filled with accessible, melodic soft rock that became the band's signature sound, the record had no hit singles.With their second album, On the Waters, Bread established themselves as hit-makers. "Make It with You," the first single released from the album, became a number one hit, which led to "It Don't Matter to Me," a song taken from Bread, becoming a Top Ten hit. With On the Waters becoming a gold record, the group embarked on a tour, adding a full-time drummer, Mike Botts to the lineup. Manna, released in the spring of 1971, wasn't as big a hit as the previous record, yet it launched another Top Ten hit with "If." Royer left the group after the album and was replaced by Larry Knechtel, a Los Angeles session musician who played on records by the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees, among others. The new lineup released their first single, "Mother Freedom," in the summer of 1971; the single scraped the Top 40 at number 37. Bread's next single, "Baby I'm-A Want You," became a number three hit at the end of the year. After "Everything I Own" reached number 5 in January of 1972, an album called Baby I'm-A Want You was released. Peaking at number three, the record became the group's most successful album. The group's fifth album, Guitar Man, followed in the fall of 1972.
At the beginning of 1973, Bread disbanded after a dispute between Gates and Griffin. Griffin claimed that when the group was conceived, the pair agreed that the singles would be divided equally between the two songwriters; Gates wrote most of Bread's hits and wanted to continue to compose the singles. The two parted ways, with each of the musicians pursuing solo careers. Bread reunited in 1976, releasing Lost Without Your Love in early 1977. The title track became their last Top Ten hit, peaking at number nine. The success could not keep the group together, as tensions between Gates and Griffin began to escalate again. After Griffin split from the group, Gates assembled a new version of the band and toured under the name Bread. Griffin sued Gates for using the name Bread, which the duo co-owned. A judge ordered the group not to perform, record, or collect royalty payments until the case was resolved; it wasn't resolved until 1984. In the meantime, Gates and and Griffin pursued solo careers. Of the two musicians, Gates was more successful, scoring a number 15 hit in 1978 with the title theme to Goodbye Girl. However, his career declined in the '80s; by the '90s, he was running a California ranch. Griffin relocated to Nashville, forming Dreamer with Randy Meisner in the early '90s. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:33 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:35 (10 years ago) Permalink
Also, they're not blank! "Diary" is really creepy.
― Arthur (Arthur), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:50 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:51 (10 years ago) Permalink
"1963. I was hitch-hiking one day, and got a lift from this guy who turned out to be David Gates (now of Bread) ; he told me he was a songwriter, and I told him I was a record producer – so we went back and ha played this song he'd just written… and Candice Bergen, who was a friend of mine, said it was a certain number One." Kim got 3 chicks, who he called the Murmaids, to do the song on Chatahoochee Records (which was Kim's own label), and it sold a million. That was "Popsicles & Icicles," which was number One in the States, but didn't do a thing in England – lost in the Merseybeat."
― Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Sunday, 20 October 2002 17:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
David Gates also made some rockabilly records with Leon Russell in the late 50s.
― Arthur (Arthur), Sunday, 20 October 2002 18:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― kate, Sunday, 20 October 2002 18:47 (10 years ago) Permalink
― alex in mainhattan (alex63), Sunday, 20 October 2002 20:55 (10 years ago) Permalink
Shore is. I named it as one of my creepy tunes.
― J (Jay), Sunday, 20 October 2002 23:14 (10 years ago) Permalink
― seanp (seanp), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 16:00 (9 years ago) Permalink
Uncle Bob on FIRE!
"Even in fun I can't work up much feeling for an ass man as mendacious as David Gates. "
classic by the way, melody rules all </geir>
― gershy, Sunday, 21 October 2007 05:39 (5 years ago) Permalink
but it's still pretty weak tea, innit?
― Eisbaer, Sunday, 21 October 2007 06:22 (5 years ago) Permalink
their singles have hooks up the wazoo, don't know the deep cuts
i dunno, soft rock is something that sounds better as time goes by cuz the need to rawk out and be hard seems silly (but I R OLD, so don't pay me no mind) but yes, the schmaltzy arrangements don't help.
― gershy, Sunday, 21 October 2007 06:33 (5 years ago) Permalink
Also Uncle Bob, 1972:
I defy anyone who sneered at my three exemplary AM songs to find me an FM song as transcendently silly as "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" or as true to adult love as "Everything I Own" or as representative of the upwardly mobile black ghetto as "Inner City Blues."
― If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Sunday, 21 October 2007 10:17 (5 years ago) Permalink
Jac Holzman in Follow the Music: The Life and High Times of Elektra Records in the Great Years of American Pop Culture:
The way Bread went about recording was so civilized it attracted attention. Most groups would shuffle into the studio, if you were lucky, in the late afternoon, and nothing would happen until seven, and then you'd work until two in the morning. Bread would arrive in the morning at nine sharp, David with his attache case, as if he was off to a downtown bank or Pacific Bell. They would record till lunch, break for an hour, work all afternoon, and David would go home to his family at five.
Esp. funny contrasted with other Elektra people discussed in the book such as Jim Morrison, Tim Buckley, Arthur Lee, the MC5...
― dell, Monday, 22 October 2007 00:51 (5 years ago) Permalink
"their singles have hooks up the wazoo, don't know the deep cuts"
the first two albums are really solid, but my favorites are *Manna* and then *Guitar Man* which are later albums. Great guitar sounds on those records. great production, great arrangements, etc.
― scott seward, Monday, 22 October 2007 00:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
Apart from the usual suspects, I like "London Bridge" with its Moog (!on a Bread song!) madness, "The Last Time" (which reminds me of Yule/Loaded-era Velvet Underground) and "Sweet Surrender", which manages to achieve a level of male whipped-ness beyond even that of "It Don't Matter to Me".
― Joe, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:39 (5 years ago) Permalink
Didn't Bangs have an essay about these guys?
― I eat cannibals, Monday, 22 October 2007 18:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
the ST and "Manna" are classic indeed
― Zeno, Monday, 3 March 2008 17:44 (5 years ago) Permalink
All in all I must saaaaaay,
it's been a rather dismal day.
― ian, Monday, 3 March 2008 17:54 (5 years ago) Permalink
man I love these guys. the best of vol. 1 ended up in our musty collection of vinyl during college and we'd get stoned, put it on and have a laugh. Then I would find myself humming the tunes several years after not hearing them at all. So I had to pick up the Anthology.
― will, Monday, 3 March 2008 18:06 (5 years ago) Permalink
RIP Larry Knechtel
― Thus Sang Freud, Monday, 24 August 2009 13:21 (3 years ago) Permalink
My thoughts on Bread: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/bread-sound-of-bread.html
― Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:48 (8 months ago) Permalink
Given Bread's epitome-of-MOR sound, it's hard to believe he wrote and produced "My One and Only, Jimmy Boy" by the Girlfriends:
That's two Blossoms and an Ikette on vocals.
― Hideous Lump, Friday, 7 September 2012 02:57 (8 months ago) Permalink