Bread “Bread”

Bread were known as one of the premier 70s soft rock acts and rightly so, as they produced some of the best music that genre has to offer.  This debut, released by Elektra in 1969, is much different than those early 70s records.  Bread, is closer to Crosby, Stills and Nash’s debut album (also from 1969), combining Buffalo Springfield and Byrds folk-rock influences with a Brit pop feel that recalls late period Beatles or Paul McCartney’s early solo work.

The album is an underrated delight.  Every song is rock solid, displaying a diverse range of popular rock styles from the time, such as lite psych, folk-rock, country-rock and soft pop.  David Gates is usually thought of as the master craftsmen in Bread but Robb Royer and James Griffin contribute fine material to Bread.  Songs like the powerful “Move Over” (there’s fiddle on this Griffin penned classic) suggest Bread could rock hard when they wanted to while other great tracks like “London Bridge” are dressed up with moog synthesizer – it’s all about the fine production details on this album.  “Could I,” “You Can’t Measure The Cost,” and “Look At Me” are pop gems, displaying leftover psych residuals from the previous two years.   “Don’t Shut Me Out,” along with many of the album’s songs, seemed to have obvious radio potential – hooks galore, strong songwriting and lovely harmonies.

Vinyl copies are fairly easy to find.  Bread can only be bought on cd as part of a 5 disc box set which will set you back about $20 (not a bad deal at all).  One of the great debuts from 1969 – don’t miss out on this one.

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“Move Over”

:) Original | 1969 | Elektra | search ebay ]
;) MP3 Album | download here ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

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  • The Bergen White version of “Look at Me” is also excellent. (As is his album For Women Only.)

  • First comment here for one of the most underrated albums of the 60’s. Such a good record! Thanks for bringing this to the masses! This record needs more attention!

  • Nik Rayne

    Man, I’ve been playing ‘Move Over’ all day. Thanks for spotlighting this one Jason, don’t think I’d have ever picked it up on my own. I always dig discovering these early gems by musicians folks would normally consider lame dogs. See Jimmy Buffett’s first two records for another excellent example.

  • plasticsun

    Thanks for posting this – I was in a band in the mid 80s that got a review in Billboard comparing us to the Shoes and Bread’s first album – I was horrified by the Bread comparison but I was always a bit curious. Listening now, I don’t see the similarity. Move Over is great … we weren’t .

  • Len Liechti

    Unlike many of the bands in these pages Bread was very big here in the UK from around ’71 or ’72, thanks mainly to DJs Dave Lee Travis and Johnny Walker who championed the new-fangled “soft rock” acts on the BBC. Their later stuff did get a bit schmaltzy (“If”, “Baby I’m-a-Want You”) but they could also rock out with a vengeance (“Freedom”, “Guitar Man”). David Gates had been a staff songwriter and record producer in LA working with, inter alia, Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, and late arrival Larry Knechtel was a former member of the Wrecking Crew and had played bass on the Byrds’ “Mr Tambourine Man” and the superb piano on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. No wonder they sounded good. My fave of all Gates’s songs is probably “Diary” from the “Baby” album, which is about to find its way into my solo acoustic set. I can vouch that Rhino’s five-CD “Original Albums” slipcase set is excellent value, having just played it from end to end in my camper whilst on a weekend away, although you do need a powerful magnifier to read the details on the miniaturised cardboard “album sleeves”!

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