You sheltered me from harm....
Released January 1972
For many, this was Bread's best album, containing two of their biggest hits and successfully merging sensitive ballads with some deceptively hard rocking cuts. It shows that they were more than just slushy pop balladeers, despite the perfection of their tracks that fit that particular bill. This is an eminently listenable example of early seventies Californian rock.
1. Mother Freedom
2. Baby I'm A Want You
3. Down On My Knees
4. Everything I Own
5. Nobody Like You
7. Dream Lady
9. Games Of Magic
10. This Isn't What The Governmeant
11. Just Like Yesterday
12. I Don't Love You
Mother Freedom is a powerful rocker with some killer buzzsaw guitar. Baby I'm A Want You is known to many, it's great. Lovely vocal, lovely atmosphere, lovely bass line. Just a perfect easy rock song. So wonderfully early seventies. A Byrds-esque jangly guitar riff introduces Down On My Knees. The track rocks from beginning to end in a seventies-era Fleetwood Mac style. Everything I Own is, of course, beautiful. As a reggae fan, I always associate this song with the Ken Boothe 1974 cover that hit number one in the UK, but this is the original. It is moving, sensitive and timeless. When that chorus kicks in - oh yes.
Nobody Like You is an Elton John-esque piano-driven rock/blues rousing rocker. Yes, Bread could do bar-room rock too and sing about "having a fight" without sounding strange. Diary is thoughtful and moving. Dream Lady has some of Bread's regular prog-rock influences as a swirling organ, heavy guitar and drums interplay dramatically. Daughter is another deceptively heavy rock ballad, with power chords and pounding piano, together with a convincingly strong, harmonious set of vocals.
Games Of Magic is a gentle, acoustic, sleepy and sensitive number. Now, up next Bread get all political, for the first time, on This Isn't What The Governmeant, a rousing country style questioning of the rule-makers of the time. Just Like Yesterday is a lovely, stately and inspiring song. The gruff, mid-pace rock of I Don't Love You is a surprisingly acidic end to the album. There is more Elton John about this, for me.
If you like West Coast early seventies rock mixed with some classic rock ballads played with seriously good musicianship then you can't go far wrong with this. A classic of its genre.