This US soft rock unit was formed in 1969 when David Gates, a leading Los Angeles session musician, produced an album for the Pleasure Fair, a band that included vocalist/guitarist Robb Royer. Songwriter and solo artist Jimmy Griffin contributed several compositions to the set and the three aspirants then decided to pool resources. All were assured multi-instrumentalists, and although not a commercial success, their debut album (recorded with drummer Jim Gordon) established a penchant for melodic soft rock. Mike Botts replaced Gordon for 1970's On The Waters, which included the million-selling US chart-topper 'Make It With You', while Manna spawned a further gold disc with 'If', later successfully revived by actor/singer Telly Savalas. Royer was then replaced by keyboard veteran Larry Knechtel, but Bread's smooth approach was left unruffled as they achieved further international success with immaculate pop songs, 'Baby I'm-A Want You' (1971), 'Everything I Own' and 'The Guitar Man' (both 1972).
Increasing friction between Gates and Griffin led to the band's collapse later at the end of 1972. The combatants embarked on solo careers while Botts joined the Linda Ronstadt Band, but the late-period quartet reconvened in 1976 for Lost Without Your Love, the title track of which reached the US Top 10. Guitarist Dean Parks augmented the line-up when Griffin resumed his independent direction. A court ruling banned Gates from recording or touring as Bread until an ongoing legal dispute with Griffin over the use of the band name was resolved. Gates elected to go solo, scoring a US Top 20 hit in 1978 with 'Goodbye Girl'. The original line-up regrouped in 1996/97 for a brief tour. Griffin died of complications from cancer in January 2005.
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