The Best Of Bread


Audio Fidelity/Elektra, 2015


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On this, the umpteenth reissue of The Best Of Bread, the audio quality is pristine and crystal clear. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to help the songs overcome the amount of cheese that’s been built up since the ‘70s. “Baby-I’m-A-Want-You” is still one of those go-to slow songs to be used at theme dances and on light rock oldies stations. The band had an almost country rock twanginess in their music, particularly on tracks like the smash “Make It With You.” David Gates’ vocals were never that spectacular or outstanding, but they fit right in with the light sap of early ‘70s AM radio.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“It Don’t Matter To Me” highlights Gates’ vocals much better than say the saccharine mess of “Diary.” Besides “The Guitar Man,” which sadly isn’t on this record, “It Don’t Matter To Me” is probably one of Bread’s best songs and the pristine audio really helps point this out.

Occasionally, the band would break out of their acoustic stream and branch out with some real electricity as heard on “Down On My Knees” as well as “Mother Freedom,” which was one of those songs that fit in better on FM radio alongside J. Geils Band and Jethro Tull. A lot of these harder-edged tracks feature early member Robb Royer, and perhaps his departure allowed Gates to fully take the band in his own vision.

“Let Your Love Go” is without a doubt, the standout on the disc. The vocals, the fuzz on the guitars and bass…everything makes the track work and it tries its best to distance itself from the Bread that most people knew back then.

Overall, the quality of the audio is of the kind that would make Neil Young and his overpriced Pono blush. Anyone who is a stickler for quality and who loves Bread to this day should definitely seek this one out. For the uninitiated, ‘70s soft rock will always be a black mark on the era, but each band had at least a few tracks that were worth their weight in gold, and this disc highlights Bread’s best.

Rating: C+

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