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Guitar Man

Review by Gary Hill

I know Bread is probably best known for creating mellow acoustic rock ballads. Sure they do those great, but the band also rocked out pretty well. I had this disc when I was a kid and really liked it a lot. Listening to it now it’s got some dated material and a few weaker songs, but overall this is quite a good album with a few real highlights.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Welcome To The Music
This bouncing little rocker introduces to the album. It’s kind of a neat touch.
Guitar Man
For my money this is one of the shining stars of the disc. It shows the rise and fall of a pop star. This is a soft rock classic. It’s tasty and catchy and yet it’s also sad. It gets quite involved with more layers of sound added to the mix. I’ve always loved this song since the first time I heard it – and it still holds up very well. 
Make It By Yourself
This is bouncy, but essentially a countrified folk song. It’s a good tune and the vocal arrangement really makes it. 
Say what you will about the string arrangement and such, but this beautiful ballad is emotionally powerful and very pretty. It’s always been one of my favorite tracks from this band and I believe it still holds up even today. 
Fancy Dancer
Based on a riff quite similar to Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” this is a cool rocking number. It’s tasty and one of the rockers that tends to work quite well here. The vocal arrangement on this is also a strong point. The instrumental sections on this really feel a lot like something we would have heard from the blues era of Fleetwood Mac.
Sweet Surrender
This is another soft rock hit. Perhaps it’s not up to the same level as some of the other material, but it’s still quite good.

There’s a Native American beat to this, but overall it’s much like “Fancy Dancer” in that it feels like it could have come from the blues period of Fleetwood Mac. This track is perhaps stronger than that one, though and we get a stomping jam rather like Grand Funk later in the number.

Let Me Go
Here’s another track that’s rather sad. It’s got a texture to it that somehow reminds me a bit of Three Dog Night. The string arrangement could be considered “over the top,” but I really like this song a lot.
Yours For Life
They are back into the folk modes with this. It’s got a lot of that country sound to it. It’s also packed with charm. As trite as this can be I find it to be a good piece of music. 
Picture In Your Mind
Here we get one of the more complex compositions on the disc. While this might not be quite progressive rock, it comes close. This is pretty and emotional. 
Don't Tell Me No
This is a pretty straightforward rocker. While it’s not particularly noteworthy it’s competent.
Didn't Even Know Her Name
Although this is essentially another folky ballad the percussion arrangement lends another side to the picture. This is a good song and not a bad choice for disc closer.
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