This group seems to have been the pioneer of soft rock. Coming from Los Angeles and formed in 1969 by David Gates. The group is in the vocal group hall of fame and achieved six gold and platinum albums in the American charts.
David Gates was born in 1940 and during the 1960s had worked with people like Elvis, Duane Eddy, and Brian Wilson and even produced records for Captain Beefheart too. He formed the group and signed up to Elektra records and released their very first album Called Bread in 1969.
The second album was released in 1970 called On The Waters which had the classic Make It With You, which was written by David Gates. The song topped the U.S. charts and get to No. 5 in the U.S.
Band member Jimmy Griffin was a founder member of the group too. He won an academy award in 1970 under a false name of Arthur James. The award was for the Carpenters song For All We Know. He died in 2005 from cancer.
The group had two single hits in the U.S. called It Don’t Matter To Me and Let Your Love Go. In March 1971 they had a U.S. top five hit with If. The song was No. 1 in the UK but NOT by Bread. The film and TV star Telly Savalas had a speaking version of the song. Telly was on the TV in Kojak at the time.
Band member Robb Royer was with the band up to 1971 and was replaced by Larry Knetchel who use to work with the Monkees, Simon and Garfunkel (he won a Grammy award for his piano playing on the track) and the Partridge family. Larry died in 2009 of a heart attack aged only 69.
Mother Freedom was a U.S. hit only in 1971, and then in October that year another hit on both sides of the pond with BabyIm-A Want You, which was a U.S. No. 1 gold single and No. 14 in the UK. Mike Botts was the drummer who was again with the band right from the start. Later in the 1970s he worked with Andrew Gold and was playing on his big hit Lonely Boy. Mike died of Colon Cancer in 2005.
1972 saw a massive hit with Everything I Own getting to No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 36 in the UK. The reason it was not massive in the UK? Because it went to No 1 in the 1970s for Ken Boothe in a reggae style, and again in the 80s for Culture Club’s Boy George. The song was written as a tribute to David Gates dad.
Diary was a beautiful 1972 U.S. hit and that was followed by Guitar Man in July from the album called Guitar Man. Both U.S. and UK chart hits in the top twenty. This was followed in the U.S. by Sweet Surrender and Aubrey both getting to No. 15 in the charts. Aubrey was written by David after watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn.
1976 saw the last British single with Lost Without Your Love, which was an excellent single to go out on. In 1973 Bread split up because David and Griffin were not getting on. The last Bread concert was in Utah that year. They reunited for a year in 1976.
David had many solo projects and a few modest single hits after Bread, but without the vehicle Bread he did not achieve those dizzy heights again. The albums the Best of Bread can be found in most homes of us baby boomers.