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Top 50 Best Bread Songs

Formed in Los Angeles in 1969, Bread was a band that probably should have been more appreciated than they were. They had some good musicians in the band, James Griffin on bass, Mike Botts on drums, and session player Larry Knechtel joined later on keyboards.

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All of the members were multi-instrumentalists, but their style of song rarely let them show what they could do.

David Gates was the focal point, and he wrote most of the songs we are going to be looking at. And, as the lead singer, he would get most of the attention. Their trademark sound was Soft Rock and Gates’s voice.

Their first two albums were successful… 

But, the third album, Guitar Man, was not, and the band broke up in 1971. Gates went solo, and the others returned to playing sessions. A brief return a few years later gave us another album, but that was all.

They might not have been around for very long, but they left some great material. Let’s remember some of the best Bread songs, shall we? Starting with…

Best Bread Songs

Top 50 Best Bread Songs

[nb]1[/nb] Baby I’m-a Want You

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZwP5OjE_lo[/yt]

This was the lead single taken from the album of the same name. However, the album was released a few months later, in 1972.

It was one of the most successful Bread songs reaching #14 in the UK and #3 in America. The song was written and sung by David Gates. The album went to #9 in the UK and #3 in America.

Baby I’m-a Want You was the first album to feature Larry Knechtel as a permanent member of the band.

[nb]2[/nb] Guitar Man

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPoJNdKNT40[/yt]

If this was supposed to be Bread “getting a bit heavy,” as I have read about this song, then it didn’t quite work. Drums and bass are very laid-back and don’t do very much. There is some nice wah guitar work from keyboard player Larry Knechtel. But that hardly constitutes calling it “heavy.”

It is one of those nice, semi-Soft Rock David Gates songs… 

But, this one has a meaning he may have been only too familiar with. The song tells the story of the loneliness that can set in if you are on the road in a band for a long time. 

Sometimes, that is why people don’t last long in bands that tour or even join them in the first place. Some people just want to play music and not have all the other stuff that goes with it. And, when playing music becomes “just a job,” then you know you are in the wrong place. 

That is what this song is all about…

A nice touch in the production is the inclusion of a crowd at the end. That gives the song a rather melancholy and, in some ways, a very sad, lonely feeling.

A good track from them. But, the album that this song is fromalso called Guitar Man, was the start of a bit of a decline even though it was quite successful. The single reached #16 in the UK and #11 in America.

[nb]3[/nb] Sweet Surrender

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJBmO-xKwz0[/yt]

Staying with the Guitar Man album is the track “Sweet Surrender.” Written and sung by David Gates, it is a medium-tempo song with plenty of acoustic guitar, and an easygoing feel.

It wasn’t released as a single in the UK but reached #15 in America. It also did quite well in New Zealand and Canada. At two minutes and thirty-eight seconds long, it could be one of the shortest singles you would find. It was the second song to be released from Guitar Man.

[nb]4[/nb] Aubrey

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25k84y1uwoI[/yt]

Another song from the Guitar Man album. The story has it that Gates watched the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s and was inspired by the song “Moon River,” which features prominently in the film. “Aubrey” reached #15 on the American chart.

It is quite a somber song about one-sided love. The production is basic, using only acoustic guitar, some strings, and a celeste. The song was released as a single in 1973. This would be the choice of many fans of Gates’ music as their favorite, and it is easy to see why.

[nb]5[/nb] Make It With You

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4R93xnKink[/yt]

This is a very well-known Bread song. It was taken from their album, On The Waters. A typical easy-listening David Gates song with a hook that was memorable. It was Bread’s first commercial success in 1970 and their only #1 in America.

It has that easy, very Soft Rock sound that reminds you a little of someone like Pat Boone or one of the crooners. The song established them as a top-selling band reaching #5 in the UK and, as I said, topping the chart in America. “Make It With You” sold over one million copies.

It was covered by several other artists, including Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, and Engelbert Humperdinck, on his album, In Time. But, probably the best cover was by Aretha Franklin on her album, Live at Fillmore West.

[nb]6[/nb] It Don’t Matter to Me

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeIGjYFPG4o[/yt]

This was a song that was originally included in Bread’s first album, Bread, released in 1969. They recorded it again but did not include it on their second album and released it just as a single. It was released as the follow-up to the hugely successful “Make It With You.”

The lyrics are quite philosophical and talk about keeping feelings for a lover you are about to let go. I suppose in the hope that one day they may come back. The song reached #10 in America.

[nb]7[/nb] Diary

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sgAVJM1VO4[/yt]

This song was the third single from their album, Baby I’m-a Want You, released in 1972. It is a song that is simple and heartfelt and doesn’t need a big production. It just had an acoustic guitar and a vibrato effect on an electric guitar behind the voice.

The song is about a man who commits a cardinal sin… 

He finds and reads his girlfriend’s diary. He reads it as if he is reading about the love she has for him, until he gets to the end.

“I found her diary underneath a tree – And started reading about me – They said that she had found – The love she’d waited for – The love she’d waited for – Was someone else not me.”

Clever idea and a great song by Bread at a period when Gates was possibly at his writing best. The single reached #15 on the American chart.

[nb]8[/nb] Everything I Own

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeadLurGR1U[/yt]

This is another single released from the Baby I’m-a Want You album in 1972. It has often been the subject of discussion of what the song is truly about. 

Gates has been in a long-term relationship with his now-wife since high school. People speculated there might be a problem in that area. But, the meaning was something very different. The song was written about his father, who died in 1963. His father was very proud of him and what he was doing, but never lived to see his son’s success. 

Gates wrote in remembrance…

“You sheltered me from harm – Kept me warm, kept me warm – Is there someone you know? – You’re loving them so – But taking them all for granted – You may lose them one day – Someone takes them away – And they don’t hear the words you long to say.”

And, in a very touching conclusion, we find the lines, “I would give everything I own – Just to have you back again.”

“Everything I Own” reached #32 in the UK and #5 in America. The song had further success in the UK in 1974 when it was covered in a Reggae-style by Ken Boothe. It went to #1 in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and Norway.

[nb]9[/nb] If

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQyKMueMFGk[/yt]

A 1971 track that brought real attention to the band, and in particular, to David Gates’s songwriting. It was taken from the album Manna. “Manna” is a word that is used in the Old Testament of the Bible that loosely means “bread from heaven.”

“If” is a gentle, very romantic song written by Gates and other members of the band. It reached #4 on the American chart, and also became a standard song used at weddings and similar functions.

In the UK…

Actor Telly Savalas released a version that was mostly spoken that went to #1. Once again, a very short song at just two minutes 33 seconds. And, for a long time, it was the shortest song to ever make the Top 10 in America.

Gates typically finds words that can touch people and express sincerity. “If the world should stop revolving – Spinning slowly down to die – I’d spend the end with you – And when the world was through – Then one by one the stars would all go out – Then you and I would simply fly away.”

Easily one of the best Bread songs. And, despite some rather strange covers, it has remained a classic song by Bread.

[nb]10[/nb] Lost Without Your Love

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSBHmfOgSP0[/yt]

This song was the title track from the last album Bread released in their semi-original line-up. It was taken from the album of the same name, released in 1977.

They had been away from recording or performing for three and a half years, and this signified a comeback. It had a limited release but did quite well in America, where it reached #9.

As usual… 

It was produced and written by David Gates. The follow-up single, “Hooked on You,” taken from the same album, only reached #60. The writing was clearly on the wall about their popularity at that time. 

Once again, both songs were under three minutes. Specifically, “Hooked On You” was only two minutes and 18 seconds. It is a typical Gates piece of work, in other words, a classy love song.

[nb]11[/nb]Just Like Yesterday

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6qYsPnNOnc[/yt]

[nb]12[/nb]She’s The Only One

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXCLmYNKy00[/yt]

[nb]13[/nb]Look What You’ve Done

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVLUQujHJ8A[/yt]

[nb]14[/nb]Yours For Life

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoVi5E3cfMM[/yt]

[nb]15[/nb]Love And Let Love

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp9B1FodnkI[/yt]

[nb]16[/nb]Call On Me

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjizbIen1T4[/yt]

[nb]17[/nb]I Say Again

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfVZhlEb_RI[/yt]

[nb]18[/nb]Ann

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cveUbzfdVBY[/yt]

[nb]19[/nb]I Don’t Love You

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kERcuaJyXKc[/yt]

[nb]20[/nb]London Bridge

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeIr0qc–o[/yt]

[nb]21[/nb]Down On My Knees

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrtHnO7WYRQ[/yt]

[nb]22[/nb]Been Too Long On The Road

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6lM5QXdurU[/yt]

[nb]23[/nb]Who’s That Sleeping In My Bed?

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4[/yt]

[nb]24[/nb]Any Way You Want Me

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig8L0i8fJsg[/yt]

[nb]25[/nb]Lay Your Money Down

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfMCWkvyCdU[/yt]

[nb]26[/nb]Only Love Knows

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meQvVSwz3dM[/yt]

[nb]27[/nb]This Isn’t What The Governmeant

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf90rOMYihU[/yt]

[nb]28[/nb]Save Me

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFFfVjItjyo[/yt]

[nb]29[/nb]Come Again

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56jG2zHRLkM[/yt]

[nb]30[/nb]Sweet Love

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0qzqCG3H9k[/yt]

[nb]31[/nb]She Was My Lady

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRmc48Xar7s[/yt]

[nb]32[/nb]Daughter

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wniHYKWmeYs[/yt]

[nb]33[/nb]Mother Freedom

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLtrq92nxk[/yt]

[nb]34[/nb]Where Does The Loving Go?

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbG74OJ34jY[/yt]

[nb]35[/nb]I Use The Soap

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYruvpgJt38[/yt]

[nb]36[/nb]Goodbye Girl

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsmIs4N2KU0[/yt]

[nb]37[/nb]Take Me Now

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB51LDjee4Y[/yt]

[nb]38[/nb]Make It By Yourself

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miN_aDEDVT0[/yt]

[nb]39[/nb]He’s A Good Lad

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWSw74J08j0[/yt]

[nb]40[/nb]Sail Around The World

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k_x0SQyV1Y[/yt]

[nb]41[/nb]I Can’t Find The Words To Say Goodbye

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSpG5HasJtw[/yt]

[nb]42[/nb]Why Do You Keep Me Waiting

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWjTfCV4TAM[/yt]

[nb]43[/nb]Let Me Go

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blCG8beE6iA[/yt]

[nb]44[/nb]Never Let Her Go

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrcBTDmeH_c[/yt]

[nb]45[/nb]The Other Side Of Life

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsuLD4iJUKU[/yt]

[nb]46[/nb]Look At Me

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNGeC4dRb5I[/yt]

[nb]47[/nb]The Last Time

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cVoc9e96mI[/yt]

[nb]48[/nb]Friends And Lovers

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X2r_Tq-Yys[/yt]

[nb]49[/nb]Let Your Love Go

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp9B1FodnkI[/yt]

[nb]50[/nb]Everything I Need

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-CHW9jOfN0[/yt]

Looking for More of the Best Songs from The 60s and 70s?

If so, check out our detailed articles on the Best 70s Rock Songs, the Best 70s Rock Bands, the Best 70s Songs, the Most Famous Black Singers Of The 1960s, and the Best 60s Rock Bands for more awesome song selections.

Of course, you need to listen to them. So, have a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

Best Bread Songs – Final Thoughts

The shelf life of Bread, sorry for the pun, maybe should have been longer than it was. But music was changing, and so was the way it was presented. I think that was a big part of their problem. 

Album tracks by artists of the time, like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, etc., were often over four and sometimes five minutes long. As we have seen, some of Bread’s best songs were half of that. For example, “If” was only two minutes and 33 seconds.

And a lot of people wanted their rock and their music, in general, a bit harder. Maybe the days of the Soft Rock ballad were over for a while. Most of my music friends went off them quite quickly. Personally, I didn’t, maybe because I just liked the songs.

That is how I shall leave this look at Bread, and David Gates… 

At the time, probably one of the most sensitive songwriters around. He created some magical ballads that were great songs and stand up to scrutiny even now fifty years later.

One last comment. I do not go for all this back-slapping “aren’t we wonderful hall of fame” nonsense. But, given some of the, shall we politely say, “artists,” who have been included in the Hall of Fame, it makes you wonder why David Gates hasn’t.

You can add my name to the list of those who think he should have been.

Until next time, happy listening.

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