Bread was a rock band from Los Angeles, California. They placed 13 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1970 and 1977 and were a primary example of what later was labeled soft rock. The band consisted of David Gates (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion), Jimmy Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Robb Royer (bass, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals), Mike Botts (drums; joined in 1970), and Larry Knechtel (bass, guitar, keyboards, harmonica; replaced Royer in 1971).
Their debut album, “Bread,” was released in September 1969 and peaked at #127 on the Billboard 200. Bread became a quartet with their second album, “On the Waters” (peaking at #12 on the Billboard 200), bringing in Botts as drummer. This time their efforts quickly established Bread as a major act with the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit "Make It With You" in 1970. "Make It With You" would be Bread's only number one hit on the Hot 100.
For their next single, they released a re-recorded version of "It Don't Matter To Me," a Gates song from their first album. This single was a hit as well, reaching #10. Bread began touring and recording the 1971 album titled “Manna” (#21), which included the Top 5 hit single, "If."
In January 1972 Bread released “Baby I'm-a Want You,” their most successful album, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200. The title song was established as a hit in late 1971 before the album was released, also hitting #3. Follow-up singles "Everything I Own" and "Diary" also went Top 20. The next album, “Guitar Man,” was released ten months later and went to #18. The album produced three Top 20 singles, "The Guitar Man" (#11), "Sweet Surrender" (#15), and "Aubrey" (#15), with the first two going to #1 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart.
There was also some dissatisfaction with the songs planned for a sixth album. Bread decided to disband. Gates and Griffin returned to their solo careers with mixed results. The reunion of the group in 1976 came about after Elektra Records expressed interest in another Bread album. Gates, Griffin, Botts and Knechtel returned to the studio that year and recorded the album “Lost Without Your Love,” released in January 1977. The title track, again written and sung by Gates, was the band's last Top 10 hit, peaking at #9 on the singles chart. This comeback record reached #26 on Billboard's album chart and was Bread's seventh consecutive album (including the two best ofs) to be R.I.A.A. certified gold.
In 1996, having settled their differences, Gates, Griffin, Botts and Knechtel reunited Bread for a successful "25th Anniversary" tour of the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia. Bread was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.