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Guitar Man

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By the time their fifth album surfaced in 1972 it was evident that David Gates was Bread's primary hit maker, though standout songs like the grandiose title track and the lofty "Sweet Surrender" obviously benefited from his having an outstanding group by his side. Conversely, the melancholic "Aubrey" was a studio-forged ballad that utilized classical guitar, orchestral strings and a music box in lieu of a band. (It peaked at number 15, lasting for 11 weeks on the Hot 100 charts, paving the way for Gates' solo career.) But in keeping with the times, Bread began to flirt with harmonious country rock as evidenced by "Make It by Yourself," a pedal steel- laden ditty that sounds like it never would have happened without the proven success of the Eagles and Poco. Yet Bread's attempts at twangy songwriting or the implementation of crunchy guitar distortion on "Don't Tell Me No" never really pulled them away from their gauzy signature sound. Of course songs such as the summery "Yours for Life" prove that you don't have to appreciate'70s soft rock (nor pander to the hip irony of the musical genre) to understand that Bread's Guitar Man is truly an elegant album.

Customer Reviews

Little Known Fact

On this album, Bread added lead guitar player Larry Knechtel. That's him playing the solo on "Guitar Man." Larry's previous claim to fame? Listen to Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." That's Larry playing the piano solo on that track.

The Gold Standard

Having been a big fan of Bread from the first LP on... I have always thought "Guitar Man" was the best of the best. Seeing them in concert 3 times I was never disapointed in any music they delivered. I think the band really clicked on "Guitar Man" as they had never done before. One has to wonder what would have happened if they stayed together for just a few more years and LP's. "Guitar Man" is a true classic and everyone who listened to Bread knew it at the time. This is simply a great LP and I would highly recommend picking up the entire offering. It sounds as good today as it did when I first picked it up in 1972. Sadly only two members of the band are still with us today. I guess I will never forget just how great these guys were together... on record and in-person.


Formed: 1968 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s

Bread was one of the most popular pop groups of the early '70s, earning a string of well-crafted, melodic soft rock singles, all of which were written by keyboardist/vocalist David Gates. A session musician and producer, Gates met in 1968 guitarist/vocalist James Griffin, who had already released a solo album called Summer Holiday. Griffin hired Gates to produce a new album, and the pair soon became a group, adding guitarist/vocalist Robb Royer from the band Pleasure Fair, who Gates had produced...
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Guitar Man, Bread
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