Personnel: David Gates (vocals, guitar, violin, keyboards); James Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Larry Knechtel (guitar, harmonica, keyboards); Dean Parks (guitar); Michael Boddicker (keyboards); Michael Botts (drums); Tom Scott (wind).
This was the end of the line for Bread. David Gates reunited one last time with James Griffin after a four-year hiatus spawned by a power dispute between the two lead songwriters. The band returned to form pretty well intact, with the Gates power ballad "Lost Without Your Love" cracking the Top Ten. It would be their last hit single. By 1977, the Bread formula was starting to sound dated, but despite the unevenness, completists and heartier Bread fans should seek and find this record. There's plenty of filler, but a couple of the Gates ballads stand out: "Hooked on You" and "Belonging" are trademark honey sweet singer/songwriter pop. James Griffin co-wrote three cuts with original Bread member Robb Royer, and their work, like "She's the Only One," has a somewhat grittier country rock feel that is lacking in the more pop-centric work of Gates. "Hold Tight" is the album's only true embarrassment -- an abortive attempt at disco-rock. Casual listeners can safely stick with the best-of collections (especially Rhino's Bread retrospective, on which Lost Without Your Love is adequately represented). ~ Jim Esch