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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic value and brilliant collection, 31 Oct 2013
By 
D. Moses (London, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
I must clear up the most common misconception again shown here about David Gates. He was NOT the lead singer for bread. He was joint lead singer with James Griffin. People only believe he is the lead singer, as all the hits were by him.
With regards to this collection, looking online, these albums are hard to come by, and to be able to collect all four for less than a tenner, is an absolute bargain. Shame that 'take me now' wasn't included, as this is generally unavailable on CD, and is a lovely album.
The album 'first' is definitely the strongest, with Gates's magnum opus 'suite: clouds/rain' one of the best songs of his career by a country mile. A beautiful piano motif with some nice moog synthesiser and gorgeous singing. The whole album though, is fantastic with the gorgeous ballads aplenty, and a couple of more upbeat tracks.
Never let her go is Gates's second album, and clearly not as strong. It has much shorter, less developed songs, and less ballads than is usual for a Gates release. Still, there are many joys here, namely 'part time love', 'someday', the title track and the sumptuous ballad 'playin on my guitar'. I think the whole album just needed one more track, a really well thought out orchestrated ballad to give the album a bit of weight.
'Goodbye girl' plays more like an EP with six new tracks and a few rehashed songs from the aforementioned two albums. Goodbye girl itself is an amazing song, along with its sister piece 'overnight sensation'. Both gorgeous piano based ballads. There is the pop masterpiece 'took the last train' and the country tinged 'drifter' which is also good. There are two more upbeat rock songs, both ok, but not outstanding.
Falling in love again is a patchy album; I agree it is the weakest in this collection, but do not feel it is all that bad. The ballads are again where gates shines, and the title track as well as 'she was so young' are as good as anything he has done. 'Where does the lovin go' is also gorgeous and I particularly like the middle section in 'can I call you'. The weaker tracks are 'sweet desire' and 'starship ride' which to me, lack a bit of melody.
Still, criticisms aside, this is a fantastic collection, and so nice to get at such an affordable price. Highly highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Gates' four Elektra solo albums: One classic, one very good, one good, one bad, 7 Oct 2013
By 
David Pearlman "sound fanatic" (Arlington, MA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
This is a straight reissue of David Gates' four solo albums for Elektra: First, Never Let Her Go, Goodbye Girl and Falling in Love Again.

Gates, the songwriter, singer and arranger of all of Bread's most famous songs, started out very strongly with his debut solo album, First. Great songs, great arrangements, excellent singing. The songs on his followup, Never Let Her Go, are somewhat weaker, but this is still a generally strong entry. The third album, Goodbye Girl, features his only actual hit as a solo artist (the title track), and mixes it with a combination of decent new material and some songs recycled from earlier releases. At this point, Gates seemed to be running out of steam somewhat, which was probably due in part to using some of his material for the Bread reunion album (Lost Without Your Love) around the same period. The recycled songs that originally appeared on Goodbye Girl are not presented again in this collection. Finally, Gates closed out his Elektra tenure with Falling in Love Again. This album is appreciably weaker than any that appeared before. Gates sounds tired and uninspired here, and in interviews years later has admitted that he had lost the muse when it came time to record this record. To my ears, there's only one really good song on this album, Where Does the Loving Go.

After the Elektra period, Gates would record one more solo album, for Arista, and then go into a more than decade long retirement. (The Arista album is better than Falling in Love Again, but it's not great).

I'm giving this collection four stars on the basis of how I'd rate the individual albums:

First: 4.5*
Never Let Her Go: 3.5*
Goodbye Girl: 3*
Falling in Love Again: 2*

and rounding up the result to reflect the discount one-stop-shopping available here. In truth, this collection is about a 3.5* set, if Amazon allowed partial rankings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Bread Fans, 12 Oct 2013
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
For Bread Fans. This is a Great set of David Gates(lead singer of the group Bread) his first 4 solo CD's in one package at a Great price. Some of these CD's are now hard to find and are quite a bit pricey if you bought the single CD's The Sound is also much improved. Nice booklet with information and the words to all of the songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic value for at least one hard to find album., 3 April 2014
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
This series of multiple original discs is definitely the way to go to revisit your favourites from the past. Wow - Bread and David Gates was always my favourite group from that era, and the quality of his music is so timeless I'm sure if the major singles were re-released they'd be hits today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Gates 4 stars for box set!, 12 Feb 2014
By 
Davy "Deejay" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
I like this 4 CD box set of 4 albums. The outstanding track for me is Suite: Clouds and rain. This has to be the most spectacular songs to ever be penned by David and often gets airplay from Ken Bruce on his BBC Radio 2 show(when Ken needs a toilet break!), ha ha. It is long, thoughtful and takes you on a journey if you just close your mind when listening to it. As for the other songs, they are as one would expect from David and you can see how he influenced other band members of Bread. The CD arrived well packaged and promptly, 5 stars for vendor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely first class!, 29 Oct 2013
By 
Mr. Peter J. Regelous "peterkingsinger" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
Along with James Griffin's recent cd release, David's double offering offers great value at an unbeatable price. All the Bread members learnt their craft in the 50's and 60's - no overnight X Factor type of stardom for them - and it really shows. Each song on this cd is a superbly crafted slice of pure pop and if one or two are not quite "on the money" as other reviewers have suggested, no matter, they are still way above what most other artistes turn out these days! The tracks also sound as fresh today as they did when first released. Congratulations to all concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Always Been Simple..." - First / Never Let Her Go / Goodbye Girl / Falling in Love Again by DAVID GATES, 15 May 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
As the principal songwriter and voice of BREAD - singer DAVID GATES won legions of fans with his beautifully melodic tunes. This cool-looking British 2CD reissue gives us his first four Solo albums for Elektra Records between 1973 and 1980 - and as you can imagine - it's a mixed bag of the inspired and insipid. Here are the singer-songwriter details...

UK released September 2013 (October in the USA) - the 2CD Edsel EDSK 7034 (Barcode 740155703431) breaks down as follows...

Disc 1 (62:38 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 9 are his debut solo album "First" - released October 1973 in the USA on Elektra EKS-75066 and K 42150 in the UK
Tracks 10 to 19 are his 2nd album "Never Let Her Go" - released February 1975 on Elektra 7E-1028 in the USA and May 1975 on Elektra K 52012 in the UK

Disc 2 (58:30 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 6 are the album "Goodbye Girl" - released July 1978 on Elektra 6E-148 in the USA and K 52091 in the UK
Tracks 7 to 16 are the album "Falling In Love Again" - released June 1980 on Elektra 6E-251 in the USA and K 52206 in the UK

The generic card wraps that Edsel now uses on their reissues are lovely - classy looking too. The chunky 36-page booklet inside is jam-packed with details - album sleeves, 7" singles, Quad album labels, lyrics to the songs and informative liner notes by noted writer Alan Robinson. It's beautifully done.

Sound - these albums were remastered by Rhino initially and Phil Kinrade at Alchemy has clearly used those versions because this is sonically brilliant stuff. The audio is amazing - well produced - not overdone - muscle and clarity on every track.

Musical proceedings open with a peach - "Sail Around The World" - and two things immediately hit you - the stunning sound quality and the prettiness of the melody (lyrics above). It was put out as a 7" in the UK in November 1973 (K 12126) but only charted in the USA (peaking at 50). Speaking of lost singles - the near nine-minute epic "Suite: Clouds, Rain" was edited down to the piano opening of "Clouds" (very Bread) and put out as a 7" in the UK in July 1973 with "Soap (I Use The)" as its B-side (K 12114). I mention this because it's rare edit and is a no-show here - which is a missed opportunity. The debut album ends strongly with "Sight & Sound" (very Eagles) - while "Lorilee" gets a bit "Countdown To Ecstasy" Steely Dan slinky with Jim Horn on Alto Sax (tasty).

The second album picks up where the first left off (even with the two-year gap). "Never Let You Go" gets straight into "Baby I'm-A Want You" territory and it's easy to see why it was chosen as the lead off single (the rocky "Watch Out" graced the flipside). The acoustic ballad "Part Time Love" was the second and last 45 from the LP (June 1975 in the UK on K 12157) - a lovely tune. "Strangers" ends the album well - but even at this stage - there's a feeling of ordinariness about most of the record.

By the time we reach 1978's "Goodbye Girl" and 1980's sluggish "Falling in Love Again" - the muse seems to have abandoned him entirely. There are moments like the lightweight radio funk of "Took The Last Train" and the schmaltz of "Where Does The Loving Go" which is clearly trying to emulate the glory days of early Seventies Bread. But these albums have been dollar-bin fodder for years - and with reason.

So there you have it - a very mixed bag. But then there is that fabulous sound - and those melodic nuggets on the first two albums especially that make the purchase worthwhile. He could always pen a tune and melody that would get to you...and that's what I like most about this excellent value-for-money Edsel double...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Songs And A Voice That Can Melt The Heart., 5 Nov 2014
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
I've been a David Gates and Bread fan since the 1960's, David Gates can certainly bring out the emmotions in me. I already have these albums and bought these has gifts for other people. A couple of the albums are only short albums but when put together with the other albums of David Gates they make a brilliant collection. I only wish he would do a DVD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suite: Clouds, Rain (and beautiful memories), 10 July 2014
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
Another excellent release on double CD of four classic albums by a much underated songwriter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Always great to listen to, 30 Nov 2014
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This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
Always great to listen to, been a fan since buying Baby I'm A Want You in the seventies, yes I am that old !!! Have bought all the albums originally on vinyl and since on cd. This seemed a good way to obtain all the albums in one package and complete my collection on cd.
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