Bread was a highly acclaimed soft rock group that became famous during the early 1970s. As one of the top pop acts of that era, they are best known for such bittersweet romantic ballads as "Make It With You" (1970), "If" (1971), and "Baby I'm - A Want You" (1971), and they also had hits with such uptempo pop rockers as "Let Your Love Go" (1971) and "Mother Freedom" (1971).
Formed in 1968 in Los Angeles by singer/multi-instrumentalist David Gates, who served as frontman and main songwriter, the original lineup also consisted of Jimmy Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Robb Royer (bass, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals), with some personnel changes and additions along the way. By early 1969, the group had signed with Elektra Records and become known as Bread. Drummer Mike Botts (December 8, 1944 - December 9, 2005) joined the group later that year, and veteran Wrecking Crew member Larry Knechtel (August 4, 1940 - August 20, 2009) replaced Royer in 1971, playing keyboards, bass, guitar, and harmonica.
Bread debuted in late 1969 on the Pop/Rock charts with the upbeat folk rocker, "Dismal Day," which became a minor hit on Cash Box and Record World. Their fame took off in 1970 with "Make It With You," which topped the Pop/Rock charts, made the Adult Contemporary Top 5, and soon after went gold. They topped the Adult Contemporary chart with "If" (1971), "Baby I'm - A Want You" (1971), "The Guitar Man" (1972), and "Sweet Surrender" (1972), all of which also became top hits on the Pop/Rock charts. Bread's long string of hits on both charts through 1973 also includes "It Don't Matter To Me" (1970), "Let Your Love Go" (1971), "Mother Freedom" (1971), "Everything I Own" (1972), "Diary" (1972), and "Aubrey" (1973). Bread had a resurgence in popularity in 1976 on both charts with "Lost Without Your Love," and the group's final charting song came in 1977 with "Hooked On You."
By early 1973, Bread had disbanded, and David Gates and Jimmy Griffin (August 10, 1943 - January 11, 2005) both went on to pursue solo careers. Gates' string of hits from 1973-1981 includes the title theme to the 1977 romantic comedy, "Goodbye Girl," co-starring Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss. With Fred Karlin, Jimmy Griffin and Robb Royer co-wrote the Academy Award-winning ballad, "For All We Know," as made famous by the Carpenters. Bread reunited briefly in 1976 and several more times thereafter over the years to perform and record. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.
- The Los Angeles Times remembers Bread drummer Mike Botts.
- The New York Times remembers Jimmy Griffin and Larry Knechtel.
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- Aubrey 1973
- Baby I'm - A Want You 1971
- Diary 1972
- Everything I Own 1972
- The Guitar Man 1972
- If 1971
- It Don't Matter To Me 1970
- Let Your Love Go 1971
- Make It With You 1970
(This song topped the charts and later also became a minor hit for Ralfi Pagan (1971) and Whispers (1977).)
- Mother Freedom 1971
- Sweet Surrender 1972
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