Any way you slice it, the template for the mellow sounds that dominated AM radio in the 1970s starts with Baby I’m-A Want You. Bread’s finest effort stands the test of time by way of the band’s sturdy melodies, the former studio professionals’ finessed playing, and some of the choicest harmonizing to ever come out of Los Angeles. Anchored by four Top 40 hits, the pop-rock classic radiates with golden-hued textures and pitch-perfect tones. Throughout, melodramatic strains, complementary keyboard lines, and a fine equilibrium of poised grit and well-crafted instrumentation dot the music with sequin-like detail that glistens anew and rewards repeat listening. A mix of sentimental ballads and revved-up rock tracks furthers the appeal of a record teeming with sweet and sour flavors.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered-edition 180g vinyl LP and hybrid SACD deliver engrossing levels of warmth, nuance, clarity, and smoothness that elevate Bread’s 1972 release to audiophile heights. For the first time, the quartet’s polished musicianship and vocal blends come across as if you’re hearing them happen live in the studio. Previously muddled elements are clarified, and the band’s choruses and treble-ringing notes opened up so they can fully blossom, pulling you closer to the combination of serious emotion and comic-infused romance. Once your hear these collectible reissues, you’ll consider the meaning of the term “bread winner” permanently altered.