Ever since I was in 12th grade I have been a fan of Bread, a soft rock/folk rock band known for their syrupy sweet ballads and other pop confections. Formed in 1969 by a quartet of former session musicians, their reign as masters of the make-out song only lasted 4 years as the band broke up in 1973. Two reunions followed in the late '70s and late '90s, and their total catalog consists of 6 albums (5 of which were released every year from 1969-1972).
Here's a ballad that was in my head today...beautiful stuff. Sweet guitar playing too. Whenever I hear it I'm reminded of the grocery store I worked at in high school. This was classic "music for old ladies to shop to:"
Bread could also rock though. Their lead singer/songwriter/guitarist David Gates was know for the light stuff, while co-singer/guitarist Jimmy Griffin was know for the rockers. Here's an example:
I first heard Bread on one of those commercials from the early '90s that advertised soft rock compilations. The song was called "If," and it featured a cool tremolo/wah-wah effect on the guitar part in the intro. I also remember the character Wayne from the tv show "The Wonder Years" singing it to his girlfriend (fast forward to the 3:50 mark of the video):
I remember my chemistry teacher in 12th grade playing "The Anthology of Bread" album in class one day. That album was their 20 (!) song best-of compilation, and I got to hear for the first time all of their hits on one disc together. I also was able to experience the variety of different songs they played. I remember hearing this next one and thinking that it sounded like it could have been sung by Greg Brady:
Guilty Pleasure #2 - Judy Collins
While not familiar with most of her catalog, pop/folk singer Judy Collins has one song that I just love. I first heard it (surprise surprise) on an episode of "The Wonder Years." The song is called "Both Sides Now," and the lyrics, combined with her lovely voice, just KILL me. Not a good song to play if I'm hammered...I may start blubbering like a newborn.
Another song of hers I dig is a cover of the Beatles song "In My Life." Guess where I first heard it? Yes, once again it was on "The Wonder Years." Most of the time I don't care for covers of Beatles songs. It's hard to top perfection right? There have been a few exceptions to this over the years, like Joe Cocker's covers of "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and "With a Little Help From My Friends" (which was the theme song to...never mind). Her version of "In My Life" comes darn close to topping the original version. My thanks go out to my doll, the Canadian Belle, for finding this clip the other day and reminding me of how good it is:
Judy is a pretty amazing gal. I guess she would have to be to inspire Stephen Stills to write this amazing song, about their break-up:
Next on Guilty Pleasures: The Carpenters. For real.