Thursday, 25 April 2019

Bread - The Sound Of Bread

Baby I'm a want you....

  

In the seventies I was never into Bread like many were (usually girls). I saw this as very much wishy-washy student (usually members of the Christian Union) bedroom fare. As many, many years have passed by, my attitudes have matured, thankfully, and I view their music in a totally different light.

It is all very typically early seventies stuff - clear, airy, breezy vocals (in the style of America and many other country rock groups), razor sharp, melodic acoustic guitars, gentle bass rhythms, tuneful lead guitar and rhythmic but understated drums. The sound quality on this atmospheric, nostalgic collection does the group's excellent musicianship justice. There are hints of CSNY swirling around and some Beatles influence also. Many of the tracks are surprisingly upbeat and rhythmic, gently rocking. It is not all contemplative romantic material. The cover is pretty uninspiring, though, isn't it?

TRACK LISTING

1. Make It With You
2. Dismal Day
3. London Bridge
4. Anyway You Want Me
5. Look What You've Done
6. It Don't Matter To Me
7. The Last Time
8. Let Your Love Go
9. Truckin'
10. If
11. Baby I'm A Want You
12. Everything I Own
13. Down On My Knees
14. Just Like Yesterday
15. Diary
16. Sweet Surrender
17. Guitar Man
18. Fancy Dancer
19. She's The Only One
20. Lost Without Your Love

Everyone knows the beguiling opener, Make It With You, with its entrancing, evocative vocal. It is a timeless classic. Dismal Day features a strange high-pitched vocal from David Gates, but is also an appealing, lively hippy-ish track. London Bridge is very Beatles-esque, with Ringo Starr-style drumming. Anyway You Want Me is pleasantly driven by its electric guitar riffs and upbeat drums. Its vocal is stronger, more direct, too. Lovely guitar/drum interplay in the middle as well. The bass on Look What You've Done is just beautiful and when the song breaks out into the "rock" bit, it is quite gloriously uplifting. Check out those harmonies on It Don't Matter To Me. Beautiful.

There are so many (for me) undiscovered gems on here, apart from the well-known hits. Another one is the harmonious and rocky The Last Time. Let Your Love Go rocks more than I ever thought Bread could. It is sort of Doobie Brothers meets America with even a touch of Status Quo in the riff and the vocals. The percussion is absolutely sublime. The rock continues on the infectious country rock of Truckin'. I love this one. These have been some surprising rockers.

If is a plaintive track most people know. This is the original, not the awful version Telly Savalas took to number one in the mid seventies. The America-esque and totally gorgeous Baby I'm A Want You was as big a hit as it totally deserved to be. Then we get the sublime Everything I Own, although as a long-time reggae fan, I always associate it with Ken Boothe. It is a true classic, either way. Time to rock again, with the Fleetwood Mac-ish Down On My Knees. Just Like Yesterday has some excellent instrumentation. Bread could play, something that is often forgotten. This may sound completely bonkers, but this has all the ingredients of an Ian Hunter/Mott The Hoople ballad. No? Just one of my strange ideas. It also reminds me of Clifford T. Ward's Wherewithal. Is that more like it?

Diary is a gentle, acoustic, bedsit-ish sensitive number, in a sort of Al Stewart (early seventies era) way. Sweet Surrender is a lovely mid-tempo laid-back number with some great guitar. Guitar Man was another huge hit, again quite rightly, it is packed with both instrumental and vocal hooks. Fancy Dancer is a surprisingly funky-ish groover. She's The Only One is a delightful country-ish number with an Eagles feel to it. Lost Without Your Love is what I imagined an archetypal Bread song was, actually, listening to this, I realise I was completely wrong. I really enjoyed this. Who would have thought it?


B+

No comments:

Post a Comment