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on 31 October 2013
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 13 February 2016
CONTENT:

This 2 CD set, released by Edsel Records from UK in 2013, contain 4 complete solo albums by David Gates (35 songs). I have compiled a detailed song listing (with album and singles label & number, chart position, year of recording, plus personal comments)(BB=Billboard Hot 100; AC=Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart; CB=Cash Box; RW=Record World; UK=British Singles Chart):

DISC 1:
LP FIRST (Elektra 75066)(Billboard Album Chart 107/1973):
01 Sail Around The World (Elektra EK-45868)(a-side)(BB 50/1973; AC 11/1973; CB 49/1973; RW 60/1973)(October 1973)
02 Sunday Rider (Elektra E-45450)(b-side, December 1977)
03 I Use The Soap (Elektra EK-45857)(b-side, July 1973)
04 Suite: Clouds, Rain (Elektra EK-45857)(a-side)(BB 47/1973; AC 3(1)/1973; CB 36/1973; RW 33/1973)(July 1973)
05 Help Is On The Way (Elektra EK-45868)(b-side, October 1973)
06 Ann (Elektra E-45550)(b-side, July 1978)
07 Do You Believe He’s Comin’
08 Sight & Sound
09 Lorilee (Elektra ELK-12137)(uncharted Netherlands a-side, 1973)
LP NEVER LET HER GO (Elektra 1028)(Billboard Album Chart 102/1975):
10 Never Let Her Go (Elektra E-45223)(a-side)(BB 29/1975; AC3(1)/1975; CB 26/1975; RW 32/1975)(December 1974)
11 Angel
12 Playin’ On My Guitar
13 Watch Out (Elektra E-45223)(b-side, December 1974)
14 Part-Time Love (Elektra E-45245)(a-side)(AC 34/1975; RW 116/1975)(April 1975)
15 Chain Me (Elektra E-45245)(b-side, April 1975)
16 Light Of My Life
17 Someday
18 Greener Days
19 Strangers

DISC 2:
LP GOODBYE GIRL (Elektra 148)(Billboard Album Chart 165/1978):
01 Goodbye Girl (Elektra E-45450)(a-side)(BB 15/1977; AC 3(1)/1977; CB 9/1977; RW 13/1977)(December 1977)*his biggest solo hit; title song from movie “The Goodbye Girl”
02 Took The Last Train (Elektra E-45550)(a-side)(BB 30/1978; AC 7/1978; CB 30/1978; RW 32/1978; UK 50/1978)(July 1978)
03 Overnight Sensation
04 California Lady
05 Drifter
06 He Don’t Know How To Love You
LP FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN (Elektra 251)(1980):
07 Can I Call You? (Elektra E-46646) (uncharted a-side, May 1980)
08 Where Does The Loving Go? (Elektra E-46588)(a-side)(BB 46/1980; AC 9/1980; CB 63/1980; RW 54/1980)(January 1980)
09 20th Century Man
10 She Was So Young
11 Silky
12 Falling In Love Again (Elektra E-47011)(uncharted a-side, July 1980)*his last single for Elektra before moving to Arista
13 Starship Ride (Elektra E-46588)(b-side, January 1980)
14 Chingo (Elektra E-46646)(b-side, May 1980)
15 Sweet Desire (Elektra E-47011)(b-side, July 1980)
16 The Rainbow Song

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is the first time 4 solo albums by David Gates are released in one set. To buy them separately will be more expensive, with more inferior sound.
2 The entire singles output on Elektra is included in this set, both a and b-sides, charted and uncharted.
3 The sound is very well remastered: clean with no hiss.
4 There is a great 36-page booklet, with an informative essay by Alan Robinson. Many colourful album front covers, picture sleeves, singles label picures are included. Lyrics are also included.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 There are no bonus tracks.
2 No label & number, no chart positions are included.

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

Although David Gates has 7 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100, I have just finished compiling a Complete Solo Singles Discography, and found that he has actually 28 singles from 1958 to 1981. In his early career, he was under various names, like, David Gates and the Accents, Ronnie Franklin & The Vibes, David and Lee, the Country Boys, Del Ashley and the Manchesters. His labels are: (1) Robbins (1958), (2) Perspective Sound (1958), (3) East West (1959), (4) Mala (1960 – 1961), (5) G.S.P. (1962), (6) Del-Fi (1963 – 1963), (7) Jads (1964), (8) Manchester (1964), (9) Planetary (1965), (10) Perspective (1965), (11) Planetary (1965), (12) Vee-Jay (1965), (13) Elektra (1973 – 1980), and (14) Arista (1981). If you are interested in his earliest solo recordings, you can find it in “Open Up The Gates” with 27 tracks, but the price is very expensive.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

David Gates was born on December 11, 1940 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began his career as a session player, then a songwriter/producer, before becoming the lead singer of Bread. His solo career has outlasted that of Bread. He was also a prolific writer, responsible for the pop classics “Popsicles and Icicles” by the Murmaids. If you are interested in his songs performed by other artists but written by him, I would recommend “David Gates: His Early Years” (He only sang one song in that set). David Gates is the only surviving member of Bread, with Griffin, Knechtel and Botts all having passed away. He owns a 1400 acres ranch, raising cattles.

His voice is oh so pure and the songs are also oh so soothing. The entire set is totally enjoyable with great sound, and is recommended for all music lovers.

Lastly, Edsel Records has also just released a 4 LPs on 2 CDs set, similar to this current one, on England Dan & John Ford Coley, and is also excellent. My review is found elsewhere.
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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 (64:52 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 (52:33 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 brilliant nine-minute epic of "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 its rare edited version is a no-show here - which is a bit of 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.

David Gates could always pen a melody that would get to you...and that's what I like most about this excellent value-for-money Edsel double...
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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on 7 October 2013
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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on 3 April 2014
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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on 29 October 2013
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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on 12 February 2014
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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on 12 October 2013
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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on 5 November 2014
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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