Bread – The Studio Album Collection (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

(Last Updated On: September 10, 2022)

Bread – The Studio Album Collection (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 03:43:41 minutes | 7,53 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Elektra Entertainment

Bread (1969)
#127 on the Billboard 200

On the Waters (1970)
#12 on the Billboard 200

Manna (1971)
#21 on the Billboard 200

Baby I’m-a Want You (1972)
#3 on the Billboard 200

Guitar Man (1972)
#18 on the Billboard 200

Lost Without Your Love (1977)
#26 on the Billboard 200

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 in 1968 guitarist/vocalist James Griffin, 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 Fair, who Gates had produced early in its career. The trio soon signed with Elektra Records, becoming one of the label’s first pop bands. Naming themselves Bread, the group released its 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 hitmakers. “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 its 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 five 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, 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 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. –Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Bread – Bread (1969/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 36:07 minutes | 1,18 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Bread is seen as nothing but a wimp-pop band — an impression which is justified, but it wipes out the fact that the group was quite good and rather slyly diverse in its early days, particularly on its debut, Bread. This is effectively the birth of Californian soft rock, as David Gates and compatriots blend the folk-rock of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield with a distinctly British melodicism and a streak of sentimentality borrowed from McCartney. The result is a modest little gem, with more strange turns than you’d expect from their reputation — including soaring falsettos, spiraling melodies, rough guitars, and, best of all, a set of tightly-written, appealing songs. Only “It Don’t Matter Me,” which became a hit after the second album, ranks among their best-known material, but each of the songs illustrates the exceptional craftsmanship of not just Gates, but Robb Royer and James Griffin. As such, this may not seem like the record for casual fans, if judged just on the track listing, but it will convince the pop fans that may have been doubters.

01 – Dismal Day
02 – London Bridge
03 – Could I
04 – Look At Me
05 – The Last Time
06 – Any Way You Want Me
07 – Move Over
08 – Don’t Shut Me Out
09 – You Can’t Measure The Cost
10 – Family Doctor
11 – It Don’t Matter To Me
12 – Friends And Lovers

Bread – On The Waters (1970/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:30 minutes | 1,39 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Bread broke big with their second album, thanks to David Gates’ sentimental soft pop classic, “Make It With You” — the song that set the standard for sensitive mellow pop ballads for the ’70s and for years to come. Its pull is strong, but it’s a bit misleading, since the group hardly just turns out a series of these lovely, luxurious pop tunes throughout the record. In fact, with the considerable assistance of Robb Royer and James Griffin, the group actually rocks it harder than Crosby Stills & Nash (if not CSNY, true enough), and they continue to show that the diversity and range of material they demonstrated on their debut was no fluke. If anything, “Make It With You” doesn’t set the pace for the rest of the record, since even the softer moments, such as “Look What You’ve Done,” isn’t as lushly mellow as that — there is more coloring through the guitars, and the songwriting has more edge and melody than that. Of course, this is hardly a hard rock record, but it’s a first-class Californian pop record, one that is as blissful as a sunset when it lays back, and as incandescent as a day at the beach when the tempo is sprightly.

01 – Why Do You Keep Me Waiting
02 – Make It With You
03 – Blue Satin Pillow
04 – Look What You’ve Done
05 – I Am That I Am
06 – Been Too Long On The Road
07 – I Want You With Me
08 – Coming Apart
09 – Easy Love
10 – In The Afterglow
11 – Call On Me
12 – The Other Side Of Life

Bread – Manna (1971/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 36:13 minutes | 1,33 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Bread’s third album, Manna, isn’t so much a step forward as it is a consolidation of strengths, as the group sharpens their skills and carves out their own identities. It’s clear that the rift between David Gates and Robb Royer and James Griffin is beginning to take shape, as the album is evenly divided between Gates tunes and Royer/Griffin compositions. This benefits the album, since it spurs each member to greater heights, and they even tend to sequence the record in ways that support that sentiment — Gates’ “Let Your Love Go,” complete with its rockin’ harpsichords, is followed by the hard-driving verses of “Take Comfort,” which, admittedly, is tempered by a dreamy chorus. And while some of the rougher edges present on Bread or On the Waters are sanded down slightly, they’re still there, providing good contrast to such soft pop landmarks as “If.” Yet, this is a record that is laid-back and even tempered, which isn’t a bad thing — it results in a fine listen, especially since the group’s songwriting remains at the high standard instituted on that first Bread album.

01 – Let Your Love Go
02 – Take Comfort
03 – Too Much Love
04 – If
05 – Be Kind To Me
06 – He’s A Good Lad
07 – She Was My Lady
08 – Live In Your Love
09 – What A Change
10 – I Say Again
11 – Come Again
12 – Truckin’

Bread – Baby I’m-A Want You (1972/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 34:52 minutes | 1,26 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Baby I’m-A Want You is Bread’s best album, showcasing its soft and hard sides (yes, Bread had a hard side) at their respective peaks. “Mother Freedom,” with its crunchy James Griffin guitar solo, and the superb soft rocker “Baby I’m-A Want You” made a brilliant opening which the rest of the album had a hard time matching. The songs range from wistful sentimentality (“Diary”) to spirited protest (“This Isn’t What the Government,” a poor man’s “Taxman” with an anti-war slant). The high points outnumber the flat spots, and the playing is very polished (with unexpected hard rock flourishes on “Dream Lady”), but this is still a ’70s period piece.

01 – Mother Freedom
02 – Baby I’m-A Want You
03 – Down On My Knees
04 – Everything I Own
05 – Nobody Like You
06 – Diary
07 – Dream Lady
08 – Daughter
09 – Games Of Magic
10 – This Isn’t What The Governmeant
11 – Just Like Yesterday
12 – I Don’t Love You

Bread – Guitar Man (1972/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 43:15 minutes | 1,43 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Guitar Man is a classy album from Bread which provided David Gates with reason enough to go solo. Just listen to “Aubrey” to hear how the producer/singer/songwriter could create a strong track with little or no help from his fellow musicians. On the other hand, two of his strongest songs, “Sweet Surrender” and “The Guitar Man,” are totally products of a band in a groove. The three hits failed to break the Top Ten, though the title track came close, one notch away. It and the sublime “Sweet Surrender” both topped the adult contemporary charts in 1972, while “Aubrey” followed those two titles, going Top 15 itself in early 1973. It would be almost four years before the group would enter the charts for the final time at the end of 1976 with “Lost Without Your Love.” That makes Guitar Man the final chapter of the band’s first era, three of their 11 hits coming from this volume. The original LP cover featured beautiful off-pastel illustrations by Bob Ziering on rough cardboard without the slick gloss, impressive to the look and touch, while the music inside reflected the professionalism radio programmers and the audience expected to hear from this product. James Griffin and Rob Royer contribute an exceptional “Don’t Tell Me No” with that Beatles influence which was part of the group’s sound at its onset. But it was the title track and “Sweet Surrender” which were the perfect pop products conceived and delivered by this important act. There’s little doubt “The Guitar Man” influenced the Carpenters to put that blazing guitar at the end of their number one adult contemporary hit “Yesterday Once More” a year after this, a truly smart and effective way to bring syrupy pop music to the attention of rock & roll fans — a song with enough bite that it wasn’t an embarrassment for the guys to listen to, and was sweet enough to attract the gals. As good as the first track “Welcome to the Music” and closing title “Didn’t Even Know Her Name” are as album tracks, the opening wah-wah, folk guitars, string movement, and vocal by David Gates are just so impressive on “The Guitar Man” that there is, musically, no comparison. This is the guy who wrote the Murmaids’ number-three hit in 1963, “Popsicles and Icicles,” and he certainly crafted a dreamy sound here; those keyboards Manfred Mann used so well in his version of Randy Newman’s “Living Without You” match the guitars, combining for a breath of fresh air on early-70s radio. “Tecolote,” on the other hand, like the James Griffin/David Gates number “Make It by Yourself” pale in comparison. They are competent album tracks, but they also show the difference between adequate and great. “Make It by Yourself” is a far cry from “Make It With You.” Here the band sounds closer to Jonathan Edwards if he joined the group America, or Jon Hall’s Orleans, not a bad direction for Bread and something they should have considered. No, it isn’t as effective as their middle-of-the-road stuff, but it is superior to the decent material which ends up becoming filler. Had they skillfully balanced “Sweet Surrender with “Make It by Yourself,” they could have rivaled the Eagles. That country-rock sound is where this group was heading before they imploded. Too bad, because having Larry Knetchel and David Gates on the same team could have brought more great sounds to radio. Regardless, Guitar Man is an album Bread can be proud of, one which begs the question what would have happened had they not taken so much time off from each other.

01 – Welcome To The Music
02 – Guitar Man
03 – Make It By Yourself
04 – Aubrey
05 – Fancy Dancer
06 – Sweet Surrender
07 – Tecolote
08 – Let Me Go
09 – Yours For Life
10 – Picture In Your Mind
11 – Don’t Tell Me No
12 – Didn’t Even Know Her Name

Bread – Lost Without Your Love (1977/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 36:21 minutes | 1,28 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

This was the end of the line for Bread. David Gates reunited one last time with James Griffin after a four-year hiatus spawned by a power dispute between the two lead songwriters. The band returned to form pretty well intact, with the Gates power ballad “Lost Without Your Love” cracking the Top Ten. It would be their last hit single. By 1977, the Bread formula was starting to sound dated, but despite the unevenness, completists and heartier Bread fans should seek and find this record. There’s plenty of filler, but a couple of the Gates ballads stand out: “Hooked on You” and “Belonging” are trademark honey sweet singer/songwriter pop. James Griffin co-wrote three cuts with original Bread member Robb Royer, and their work, like “She’s the Only One,” has a somewhat grittier country rock feel that is lacking in the more pop-centric work of Gates. “Hold Tight” is the album’s only true embarrassment — an abortive attempt at disco-rock. Casual listeners can safely stick with the best-of collections (especially Rhino’s Bread retrospective, on which Lost Without Your Love is adequately represented).

01 – Hooked On You
02 – She’s The Only One
03 – Lost Without Your Love
04 – Change Of Heart
05 – Belonging
06 – Fly Away
07 – Lay Your Money Down
08 – The Chosen One
09 – Today’s The First Day
10 – Hold Tight
11 – Our Lady Of Sorrow

1-01. Bread – Dismal Day (02:21)
1-02. Bread – London Bridge (02:32)
1-03. Bread – Could I (03:31)
1-04. Bread – Look At Me (02:43)
1-05. Bread – The Last Time (04:10)
1-06. Bread – Any Way You Want Me (03:15)
1-07. Bread – Move Over (02:36)
1-08. Bread – Don’t Shut Me Out (02:39)
1-09. Bread – You Can’t Measure The Cost (03:22)
1-10. Bread – Family Doctor (02:15)
1-11. Bread – It Don’t Matter To Me (02:43)
1-12. Bread – Friends And Lovers (03:54)
2-01. Bread – Why Do You Keep Me Waiting (02:33)
2-02. Bread – Make It With You (03:18)
2-03. Bread – Blue Satin Pillow (02:29)
2-04. Bread – Look What You’ve Done (03:14)
2-05. Bread – I Am That I Am (03:20)
2-06. Bread – Been Too Long On The Road (04:54)
2-07. Bread – I Want You With Me (02:52)
2-08. Bread – Coming Apart (03:30)
2-09. Bread – Easy Love (02:29)
2-10. Bread – In The Afterglow (02:38)
2-11. Bread – Call On Me (04:04)
2-12. Bread – The Other Side Of Life (02:03)
3-01. Bread – Let Your Love Go (02:25)
3-02. Bread – Take Comfort (03:33)
3-03. Bread – Too Much Love (02:46)
3-04. Bread – If (02:35)
3-05. Bread – Be Kind To Me (03:04)
3-06. Bread – He’s A Good Lad (03:00)
3-07. Bread – She Was My Lady (02:51)
3-08. Bread – Live In Your Love (02:46)
3-09. Bread – What A Change (03:39)
3-10. Bread – I Say Again (02:52)
3-11. Bread – Come Again (04:02)
3-12. Bread – Truckin’ (02:32)
4-01. Bread – Mother Freedom (02:35)
4-02. Bread – Baby I’m-A Want You (02:30)
4-03. Bread – Down On My Knees (02:44)
4-04. Bread – Everything I Own (03:07)
4-05. Bread – Nobody Like You (03:14)
4-06. Bread – Diary (03:09)
4-07. Bread – Dream Lady (03:22)
4-08. Bread – Daughter (03:23)
4-09. Bread – Games Of Magic (03:10)
4-10. Bread – This Isn’t What The Governmeant (02:27)
4-11. Bread – Just Like Yesterday (02:15)
4-12. Bread – I Don’t Love You (02:50)
5-01. Bread – Welcome To The Music (02:57)
5-02. Bread – Guitar Man (03:46)
5-03. Bread – Make It By Yourself (03:50)
5-04. Bread – Aubrey (03:39)
5-05. Bread – Fancy Dancer (03:33)
5-06. Bread – Sweet Surrender (02:36)
5-07. Bread – Tecolote (04:35)
5-08. Bread – Let Me Go (03:27)
5-09. Bread – Yours For Life (03:21)
5-10. Bread – Picture In Your Mind (04:41)
5-11. Bread – Don’t Tell Me No (03:34)
5-12. Bread – Didn’t Even Know Her Name (03:10)
6-01. Bread – Hooked On You (02:21)
6-02. Bread – She’s The Only One (03:01)
6-03. Bread – Lost Without Your Love (02:56)
6-04. Bread – Change Of Heart (03:20)
6-05. Bread – Belonging (03:19)
6-06. Bread – Fly Away (03:07)
6-07. Bread – Lay Your Money Down (02:43)
6-08. Bread – The Chosen One (04:40)
6-09. Bread – Today’s The First Day (03:25)
6-10. Bread – Hold Tight (03:07)
6-11. Bread – Our Lady Of Sorrow (04:17)


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