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Friday Influences Thread 10-18-13


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  • Friday Influences Thread 10-18-13

    Come out and play!


    Bread. So corny... almost single handedly responsible for the soft rock movement in the 70's. Spawning the Air Supplys and John Ford Colleys and Lobos of the world. But Bread, and David Gates... these guys were special. The thought that went into those melodies, those chords, and... those arrangements. The simple bending of traditional structure. Taking minimal material, a couple verses, some simple lines for a chorus, and then presenting those wonderful tunes... it's enough to break my preteen heart. And it did. I hear Bread and all the early crushes and longing come back. But listen now with an analytical ear.


    We're in A, but it sounds like the guitar is playing the D chord shape so I'm guessing a capo at the 7th? Makes it sound like a harpsichord, something pop music had been getting some of just a few years prior.



    The guitar plays a 1 bar little figure that just hangs on A, 2 times, 2 bars total.



    Note the guitar just pedals that little figure staying away from the low tonic note, letting the bass do its descending line we all know and love. A, A/G#, A/F#, A/E... D, Dm, A/E, E... at which point the guitar plays a high E, highlighting E in the bass on the A chord, stays there as the chords goes to an E proper. A/E, E... and let's repeat the whole thing 1 more time. Before moving on... look at the melody. Besides the nice note choices and the brilliant melodic rhythm, just note the overall structure.

    You sheltered me from harm
    >Kept me warm

    >Kept me warm

    You gave my life to me
    >Set me free

    >Set me free


    I simple statement, answered and reinforced by 2 little pushes of agreement, kept me warm, kept me warm. I love just that.



    Bm, D, E. That Bm is the perfect pre chord. The ii. If it hasn't been heard yet, like here, it really says, "I'm really getting ready to make my point, pay attention!"

    The finest years I ever knew
    were all the years I had with you

    Prior to the pre, we've only we've only heard a guitar, voice and bass. But now on The finest years...on that 1, we hear the drummer really dig in on the ride cymbal's bell, DING! and a Nashville strung acoustic guitar is added up the middle really getting aggressive with the strumming pattern in a cool way, yet compressed and tucked back to not overwhelm... and then the drum fill... that drummer? That's Mike Botts. he played the tubs on Andrew Gold's Lonely Boy. Another great soft rock groove.



    Just listen to the groove in that chorus for a second... the 16th note pick ups before the 1 and 3 kick. Annie 1... Annie 3... great simple groove. Where'd he get that?!?!

    :A, Bm E, D: < right? Just a simple progression but... after the build up, it's a wonderful release. Something to note. When Gates sings I would give AN-ything I own. He's on the D chord and he's singing a D note. But on the "AN' of anything, they go to the A chord. And he still sings the D note, resolving of course, but for a second, that longing and Gates insistence of what he'd do for her, that D on a A chord while the note value is longer that we've heard... wow, I think I beleive him. The increasing of the pace for "Give up my". Well, not really a pace increase as much as the consonants really firing off the tongue to make the point. G-ive uP!. A hint of strings to bring out the chords of the guitar nicely. But we really don't hear an orchestra. Sublimanal strings. We repeat the chords once, twice, thrice and... why would you do all that David? ...just to have you back again. As everything goes away but the sustaining guitar's D chord and the resolution back to A. At which point we get 1 bar of intro guitar playing a slightly different figure.


    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -

  • #2







    STRINGS! They were mono and buried in the first chorus, but here? Yeah, I can hear them. Note the harmony being introduced on the 2nd "what it's of". If you're gonna repeat again, why not give them something extra. Not so soon though, but right before they say, "haven't we heard this before?"


    What it's of, what it's of.


    But now we really get something extra. And this is what kills me about Gates. The changed melody on  

    You never said too much,
    But still you showed the way


    That's brilliant ^^^. But wait?!?!? On "and I knew" below, we get a whole new chord. Isn

    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -


    • bee3
      bee3 commented
      Editing a comment


      Strange how their love bloomed in the winter
      Only to vanish in the spring
      It never fails to make him shiver
      To see the outline of her wings

      Where she made her last snow angel
      Little did they know
      That it

    • LCK
      LCK commented
      Editing a comment

      Lee Knight wrote:


      Having been a disc jockey for 15 years (from 1968 to 1983) I had many opportunities to listen to Bread songs on a regular basis, and this ^ is my favorite. (David Gates wrote it about his father.)

      Some interesting facts about Gates, from Wikipedia:

      Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Gates was surrounded by music from infancy, as the son of a band director and a piano teacher. He became proficient in piano, bass and guitar by the time he enrolled in Tulsa's Will Rogers High School. Gates joined local bands around Tulsa. During a concert in 1957, his high school band backed Chuck Berry.[2] Later, Gates released his first local hit single, "Jo-Baby," a song he had written for his sweetheart, Jo Rita, whom he married in 1958 while enrolled at the University of Oklahoma.

      In 1961, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, where Gates continued writing songs, and he worked as a music copyist, as a studio musician, and as a producer for many artists

  • #3

    This'll crack you up, Lee.

    I actually quite like this and a (small) handful of Bread songs. (It was the often excellent, hired-out lead guitar work that drew me in, I'm guessing.)  I also quite like "Guitar Man" -- but stuff like "Make It with You" really annoys me and my gut flips upside down and I reach to pull my ears off  the sides of my head when I hear even a few notes of "Baby, I'm-a Want You." 

    EDIT: I'm listening to "Guitar Man," now and maybe I was a little too enthusiastic. Still, a bit of guilty pleasure.  wink.gif  

    PS...rhythm AG in "Guitar Man" sounds maybe like Nashville stringing?


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    • rhino55
      rhino55 commented
      Editing a comment

  • #4
    Well you know, there's nothing like loving sappy Romanticism while having a cynical American heart. You are a man after my own heart. Nothing gay here. :-) and nothing better than French romance with a major dash of Romanticism. K.D. Lang made it to work and why can't we?
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -