Bread songs (image courtesy Rolling Stone)

Bread Songs: The Soft Rock Serenades of the 1970s

When we think about the 1970s and its mellow rock ballads, one name stands out: Bread. This American soft rock band, fronted by the talented David Gates, carved a niche with their romantic, heart-touching melodies. Known for their lush instrumentation and emotive vocals, Bread’s songs have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape. Let’s delve into some of their most beloved hits and discover why they remain timeless classics.

1. Make It With You

Released in 1970, “Make It With You” was Bread’s breakthrough hit, climbing to the top 10 on the Billboard charts. This song exemplifies the band’s signature sound, with David Gates’ soothing vocals carrying a message of love and hope. The track’s lush arrangement, featuring delicate guitar work and gentle harmonies, makes it an enduring favorite.

Interestingly, “Make It With You” was the only Bread song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. This success catapulted the band into the limelight and established them as a major force in the soft rock genre. The song’s universal appeal lies in its relatable lyrics and the warmth of Gates’ performance, which resonates with listeners even today.

2. Everything I Own

“Everything I Own” is another gem from Bread’s repertoire, showcasing the band’s ability to craft deeply personal and moving songs. Released in 1972, this track became a number one hit for David Gates, further solidifying his status as a remarkable songwriter. The song’s heartfelt lyrics, written by Gates about his late father, struck a chord with many fans.

Cover versions of “Everything I Own” have been released by various artists, but it’s Bread’s original that continues to stand out. The song’s gentle acoustic guitar, combined with Gates’ poignant vocals, creates a touching tribute that speaks to the universal themes of loss and gratitude.

3. Baby I’m-A Want You

The title track from Bread’s 1972 album, “Baby I’m-A Want You,” is a catchy pop ballad that remains one of the band’s most recognizable songs. With its upbeat tempo and infectious melody, this song showcases the lighter, more playful side of Bread’s music.

“Baby I’m-A Want You” was a commercial success, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s charming lyrics and engaging rhythm make it a timeless favorite for fans of soft rock. Its enduring popularity is a testament to Bread’s ability to create music that is both catchy and meaningful.

4. If

One of Bread’s most iconic love songs, “If” is a testament to David Gates’ songwriting prowess. Released in 1971, this track features some of the band’s most poignant lyrics and melodies. The song’s simple yet powerful message of love, coupled with Gates’ emotive vocals, makes it an enduring classic.

“If” has been covered by numerous artists, further cementing its status as one of Bread’s signature songs. The track’s gentle acoustic guitar and heartfelt lyrics resonate with listeners, making it a popular choice for weddings and romantic occasions. Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to capture the essence of love in a few beautifully crafted lines.

5. Aubrey

“Aubrey,” from Bread’s 1973 album, highlights the band’s folk-rock influences and showcases their versatility. This standout track features a more introspective and melancholic tone, with Gates’ vocals conveying a sense of longing and nostalgia.

The song tells the story of unrequited love, with Gates’ lyrics painting a vivid picture of a love that could have been. “Aubrey” is a testament to Bread’s ability to craft deeply emotional and relatable songs. The track’s delicate arrangement, featuring gentle guitar and harmonica, adds to its haunting beauty.

6. Diary

“Diary” is another classic from Bread’s catalog, released in 1972. This song tells the story of a man who discovers that the love he thought was mutual is, in fact, unrequited. The poignant lyrics and David Gates’ emotive delivery make “Diary” one of Bread’s finest and most enduring songs.

The track’s gentle melody and heartfelt lyrics resonate with listeners, capturing the bittersweet nature of unrequited love. “Diary” remains a fan favorite and a testament to Bread’s ability to create music that speaks to the heart.

7. Lost Without Your Love

Released in 1976, “Lost Without Your Love” marked Bread’s return to the music scene after a brief hiatus. This song, with its lush instrumentation and Gates’ emotive vocals, captures the essence of the band’s sound. The track’s themes of longing and loss resonate with listeners, making it a standout in Bread’s discography.

“Lost Without Your Love” was the title track of Bread’s final studio album and served as a fitting farewell to their fans. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to the band’s ability to create music that touches the soul.

8. It Don’t Matter to Me

“It Don’t Matter to Me” is another classic Bread song, showcasing the band’s folk-rock influences. Released in 1969, this track features a catchy melody and thoughtful lyrics, making it a standout in Bread’s early catalog.

The song’s themes of acceptance and moving on resonate with listeners, making it a timeless favorite. “It Don’t Matter to Me” highlights Bread’s ability to blend folk and rock elements to create a unique sound that is both engaging and relatable.

9. Sweet Surrender

Bread released “Sweet Surrender” in 1972, this beautiful ballad captures the essence of Bread’s soft rock sound. With its gentle melody and Gates’ emotive vocals, this song remains a favorite among fans. The track’s themes of love and vulnerability resonate with listeners, making it a timeless classic.

“Sweet Surrender” was a commercial success, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard charts. The song’s lush arrangement and heartfelt lyrics make it a standout in Bread’s discography. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the band’s ability to create music that speaks to the heart.

The Legacy of Bread

 The band Bread :David Gates, Robb Royer, Jimmy Griffin, Mike Botts

Bread’s catalog is filled with other beloved hits like “Mother Freedom,” “Dismal Day,” “Goodbye Girl,” and “Waiting.” Their music defined the soft rock sound of the 1970s and remains popular today. The band’s ability to create deeply emotional and relatable songs has ensured their music’s lasting appeal.

David Gates, as the primary songwriter, brought a unique sensitivity and emotional depth to Bread’s music. His ability to craft poignant lyrics and memorable melodies has left an indelible mark on the music world. Bread’s songs continue to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans of all ages, proving that great music transcends time.

Embracing Bread Songs Today

In the digital age, Bread’s music is more accessible than ever. With the ability to download and stream their entire catalog, new generations of listeners can discover and appreciate the band’s timeless sound. Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer a convenient way to explore Bread’s discography, ensuring that their music continues to reach a wide audience.

For those looking to delve deeper into Bread’s history and impact, numerous articles and reviews are available online. Websites dedicated to music history and analysis provide valuable insights into the band’s journey and their contributions to the soft rock genre. Exploring these resources can enhance your appreciation of Bread’s music and its lasting legacy.


 David Gates, Robb Royer, Jimmy Griffin, Mike Botts from the band Bread.

Bread’s music, with its heartfelt lyrics and emotive melodies, continues to resonate with listeners around the world. From the tender ballads of “Make It With You” and “If” to the introspective “Aubrey” and “Diary,” Bread’s songs capture the complexities of love and life with remarkable clarity. David Gates’ songwriting genius and the band’s unique sound have ensured their place in music history.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or a new listener, there’s something magical about Bread’s music that draws you in and stays with you. Their songs are a testament to the power of music to touch our hearts and connect us with universal emotions. So, take a moment to listen to Bread’s timeless hits and experience the beauty of their sound for yourself.