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Music / Bread

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From left to right: David Gates, Robb Royer, Jimmy Griffin,
and Mike Botts.

Bread was an American soft-rock band founded in Los Angeles in 1968. They had multiple hit songs in the 1970s, with 13 singles charting on the Billboard Hot 100.

Some of their most best-known songs include "Make It with You", "It Don't Matter to Me", "If", "Baby I'm-a Want You", "Everything I Own", "Diary", "The Guitar Man", "Sweet Surrender", "Aubrey", and "Lost Without Your Love".

Studio album discography:

  • Bread (1969)
  • On the Waters (1970)
  • Manna (1971)
  • Baby I'm-a Want You (1972)
  • Guitar Man (1972)
  • Lost Without Your Love (1977)

"Tropes, they're for those who sleep":

  • Complete-the-Quote Title: On the Waters is both this and a Literary Allusion Title, referring as it does to Ecclesiastes 11:1 ("Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days").
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: "Everything I Own" is about the death of David Gates's father and about how much he misses him.
  • Depending on the Writer: There are exceptions in both directions, but the general rule of thumb is: if it's a ballad, David Gates wrote it; if it's rock-oriented, Jimmy Griffin and Robb Royer wrote it. One reviewer even noted that the band's songs could literally be divided into "white bread" and "wheat bread".
  • Edible Theme Naming: The band's name obviously comes from the food, though their debut album's cover went with a Visual Pun based on "bread" as a slang term for money.
  • Hymn to Music: "Guitar Man" is about a musician and his relationship with his audience.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: According to David Gates, they were discussing possible band names, and a bread truck just happened to drive by them.
  • One-Woman Song: "Aubrey" is their most famous example of this. (Actress Aubrey Plaza was named for the song, incidentally.)
  • Power Ballad: It was an Unbuilt Trope during their heyday, but the stately soft rock balladry of David Gates was a big influence on the style, especially "Make It With You" and "Lost Without Your Love".
  • Power Pop: Not their primary orientation, but many of the Griffin-Royer songs count. Gates even tried it on occasion.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: After disbanding in 1973, they reunited in 1976 for another album and tour, split up again two years later, then reunited once more for a world tour in 1996.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "London Bridge" on their debut album, inspired by the bridge getting bought and moved from England to Lake Havasu, Arizona in The '60s.
  • Secret Diary: In "Diary", the singer sneaks a look at his beloved's diary, believing when she writes about her "true love" it's himself. When he discovers it's about someone else, he vows to support their relationship.
  • Tenor Boy: David Gates had a lilting high-pitched voice and often took on a male Ingenue persona in his lyrics.
  • Title Track: Guitar Man, Baby I'm-a Want You, and Lost Without Your Love all have title tracks.
  • Vocal Tag Team: David Gates and Jimmy Griffin.