Bread's last--and best--album; a masterpiece finally availab
Dave | United States | 12/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bread's final album, "Lost Without Your Love", was originally released in January of 1977. Quite oddly, it has taken until December of 2006 for the album to be released on CD in its entirety. Fortunately, Wounded Bird Records has finally provided us with an official CD release for this masterpiece.
"Lost Without Your Love" was something of a reunion album. Bread had broken up, with their last proper album prior to this being 1972's "Guitar Man". However, David Gates had continued to work with his Bread bandmates Mike Botts and Larry Knechtel on his solo albums, 1973's "First" and 1975's "Never Let Her Go" aka "Second". Obviously, the main reason for Bread's breakup was the tension between Gates and James Griffin. Gates was having a pretty mild amount of commercial success as a solo artist, so it's not surprising that Elektra Records urged Gates to give Bread another try. Gates was on good terms with Elektra, so he obliged, even though he wasn't really interested in reuniting the band with Griffin, hence the short-lived nature of the reunion.
In any case, Gates still had lots of gorgeous melodies up his sleeve. Unlike his previous two solo albums which find him branching out considerably, Gates really isn't pushing himself stylistically at all here. Still, there's no denying songs such as the irresistible warm-'n'-fuzzy pop-rocker "Hooked On You" and the super-tender orchestrated acoustic ballad "Belonging". As for "The Chosen One", it's simply one of the best soft rock songs ever recorded; it doesn't feature any orchestration, a decision which proves wise--it features a sumptuous blend of guitar harmonics, lush electric piano, a swaying groove, and silky-smooth vocals. The title track has an excellent and somewhat unexpected instrumental break, in addition to that masterful Gates touch of sighing melodicism that totally tugs at your heart. "Hold Tight" is a super fun, catchy, upbeat tune--it's been referred to as Gates' stab at disco-rock, and although it did get 'disco-fied' when covered by Vicki Sue Robinson, on here it's really just a '50s-style feel-good rocker, complete with carnival-esque organ, and given some rather low-key orchestration. "Lay Your Money Down" is a Griffin-sung rocker that does feel a bit forced somehow, but it's still fun, with super cool guitar licks, providing the album with a nice change of pace.
The thing that really allows "Lost Without Your Love" to become so thoroughly transcedant, in addition to Gates being on top of his game, is the maturity of James Griffin, both as a songwriter and vocalist. Griffin gets one co-write with Gates, the excellently melodic "Change of Heart". The rest of his tracks are co-written with his usual writing partner and former Bread member Robb Royer, and they demonstrate a quantum leap in songwriting maturity compared to, say, 1970's "On The Waters". The heart-wrenching album-closer "Our Lady of Sorrow" is a thoughtful and sympathetic meditation on the problems of drug addiction, with a beautiful Griffin vocal. Plus, the breezy "She's The Only One", the uplifting "Fly Away", and the sad-yet-hopeful ballad "Today's The First Day"--each of these are truly terrific songs.
I think David Gates' opinion that this was a "tentative" album for the band is mainly a reflection of the tension between himself and Griffin while recording it. "Lost Without Your Love" is a treasure trove for fans of '70s soft rock--this is a masterful album, a must-have for any serious music listener."
Bread Collectors and Fans
Rock Fan, | 12/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally the release of Bread's last and final album " Lost without your Love" cd. This is a Great reunion album of the Best soft rock group of the 70's Hats off to Wounded Bird Records out of New York to finally release this on CD. Now all of the Bread albums have at one time or another been released on CD. Hopefully more David Gates solo albums will be released in the near future.UPDATE: "Never Let Her Go" and Falling in Love Again will come out on CD for the 1st time on May 13th 2008 on Wounded Bird Records. !!!!!!!!"
"I can now die CD-happy!"
rocksite | Tennessee, USA | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was elated when I found out (3 months later, but better late than never) that "Lost Without Your Love" had finally seen the light of CD. Every music fan surely has their "last holdout(s)" when they can say everything from vinyl they care to own has finally been released on compact disc, and this album is mine.
I'm making a space for it between "Guitar Man" and Jackson Browne's "Late For the Sky"!"
Typically cut corners
George R. Deller | U.S. Virgin Islands | 05/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite Bread album. Earlier in the 70's they produced a string of hits as well as solid album cuts. As Sir George Martin once noted, .. we look to an album to encapsulate a period of time, usually fond, by which we can associate... . This album works on that level, and some other levels. Fortunately, these songs stand up to many of Bread's finest. Opening with the catchy melody of "Hooked On You" the listener is intrigued enough to pay attention to all the cuts. Even years after their last release, the definitive Bread sound is there- and still sounding fresh! "She's The Only One" is also a good moving tune followed by the name sake title song, "Lost Without Your Love". If the melody here, simple and sweet, is not enough, then do catch the final lyric- "if we had love before ... we can have it back once more." Tough to beat that. "Change Of Heart" is a nice change of pace- very listenable-a la Bread. Without being too long winded, I will focus on one last tune- "Belonging". This starts as it might be a David Gates solo as Lennon's "Working Class Hero" or Marley's "Redemption Song". Gates could have made it work too. However the Bread signature instrumentation is beautifully woven into the fabric of the song, raising it to an even higher level. Gates has come a long way since he penned The Murmaids' "Popsicles and Icicles" a dozen or so years earlier. This album is classic Bread. No doubt Wounded Bird Records knew the CD buying public would eat this release up as they chose to skimp on the "extras" (the reason I withheld a star). At slightly more than 36 minutes for 11 songs, an out take or two or an alternate version would have been welcomed. Perhaps some liner notes, recording dates, etc. could help justify the price of the CD. Oh well, at least we get a gatefold which is more than Clapton gets on many of his releases. In summation, this is a very GOOD Bread release from 1976. Buy it- you won't be disappointed. "