“Baby I’m-a Want You’” by Bread (1972)
Release Date: January 1972
Produced by David Gates
Genre: Soft-Rock, Pop, Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening
Chart Positions: #3 (US), #9 (Canada, UK), #23 (Australia)
Certifications: Gold (US)
Singles: “Baby I’m-a Want You” #1 (Canada), #3 (US), #5 (Brazil), #8 (France, Australia), #14 (UK), “Everything I Own” #5 (US), #6 (Canada), #12 (Australia), #32 (UK), “Diary” #15 (US), #20 (Canada), #32 (UK)
“Baby I’m-a Want” was Bread’s fourth studio album released in January 1972. By this point in time Bread had 4 top ten hits with their fifth on the way. They were moving into peak of their career with “Baby I’m-a Want You,” which contained 3 Top 15 hits and was their best selling and highest peaking album in the US and Canada.
“Baby I’m-a Want You” featured Bread at their peak showcasing both their soft and hard sides. Yes, Bread had a hard edge to them in some of their tracks such as “Mother Freedom” with its crunchy James Griffin guitar solo. They alternate fast songs with slow ones and in doing so help to get the overall effect of expression in-the-round, which their earlier albums lacked. The superb soft rocker "Baby I'm-A Want You" made a brilliant opening which set the tempo for the album. The songs range from wistful sentimentality ("Diary") to spirited protest ("This Isn't What the Government," a poor man's "Taxman" with an anti-war slant).
There is no doubt as to Bread's musicianship, for all its members are accomplished and respected studio musicians. Robb Royer left the group before recording “Baby I’m-a Want You” (though his presence is felt due to a couple of tracks he co-wrote with James Griffin), replaced by the versatile Larry Knetchel. This slight realignment makes this one of Bread's strongest records.
The lead single “Baby I’m-a Want You” was released a few months before the album and reached #3 in the US and #1 in Canada. The song was a big hit throughout the world including Top Ten in France, Australia and Brazil. Written by keyboardist and singer David Gates, who says, "I had written the song on piano, and when we recorded it on piano, it had no life. I went home demoralized, because I knew it was a good song. So I tried it on guitar and raised it a whole key, then redid it. It made all the difference in the world." “Baby I’m-a Want You” was certified Gold by the RIAA for US sales.
The second single “Everything I Own” was released a few days after the album and zoomed into the Top 10 in the US, Canada and Australia. The song is a classic known by many music lovers and has been recorded by many musicians including Boy George who took the song to #1 in the UK in 1987. David Gates wrote “Everything I Own” in honor of his father after he passed. If you listen to the words, 'You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, gave my life to me, set me free,' it says it all."
"Everything I Own" (1972)
The third and final single “Diary,” was another beautiful and heart-touching song. It wasn’t quite as big a hit as the two previous singles but it did reach #15 in the US and #20 in Canada. This song is about a boy who is in love with a girl. He finds her diary and reads it, only to find out she is in love with someone else. Bread keyboard player David Gates made up the story. The unusual sound that plays through the track is a guitar run through a synthesizer.