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Everything I Own by Bread

Album: Baby I'm-a Want YouReleased: 1972Charted:
5
32
  • According to the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, at his father's funeral, a friend took David Gates aside and said, "Your dad was so proud of what you were doing." David agreed by replying, "My success would have been so special to him as he was my greatest influence. So I decided to write and record Everything I Own about him. If you listen to the words, 'You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, gave my life to me, set me free,' it says it all."
  • In 1974 at the suggestion of his producer Lloyd Chambers, Jamaican singer Ken Booth recorded a smooth reggae cover version, which topped the UK charts. Booth sang "Anything I Own" instead of "Everything" but retained the original title, making it one of the few UK #1s not to have the actual title featured in the lyrics. In 1987 Boy George recorded his electronic dance-pop version, this time singing "Everything" not "Anything," and again it topped the UK charts. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
  • Larry Knechtel played the part on the harpsichord during the chorus, and the kick drum was doubled to get a thicker sound. (thanks, Nick - Paramus, NJ)
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Comments: 15

On February 27th 1972, "Everything I Own" by Bread peaked at #5 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on January 23rd at position #60 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 13 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
Two covered versions have peaked at #1 in the United Kingdom; Ken Boothe's version for 3 weeks in 1974 and Boy George's re-make for 2 weeks in 1987...
Sadly, three members of the group have passed away; guitarist Jimmy Griffin (1943 - 2005), drummer Mike Botts (1944 - 2005) and Larry Knechtel (1940 - 2009, he replaced Robb Royer in 1971)...
May all three R.I.P.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Music was a constant in my childhood home. Music and abuse. Dad, Hugh Hefner, pedophilia, but it is a common story. GOD held me close and healed my broken heart and played my albums, music being present from the moment of my conception. I sang along with David Gates, "Anything, Everything I Own" to GOD, praised Him in church and I changed. Now, as Brandon Heath sings, "I'm Not Who I Was" PTL!!! Father, "Your Love Reaches To The Heavens your faithfulness reaches to the skies, your gentleness is like majestic mountains and your love is like the depths of the sea and you come to me, filling my heart is your lovingkindness"Mary - Wheaton, Il
when i was on a mission for our church (lds)back in 2000-2002, i thing i heard from maybe someone from the foreign elders that a missionary who strayed away from the faith after his mission wrote the song to tell about his feelings and sold it to bread.that i believed until now.i used to tel people and even made it a theme-song for me and my uncle who happened to share the same path after our missions. we use to cry our hearts out when we sing it on family gatherings and occasions.well the song for us, speaks of our wanting to have him( Jesus Christ ) back again, in our hearts and in our lives. i hope that i will still live to get this wanting realized... love the song, a reminder..Sherwin - Tuguegarao, Philippines
Regardless what this song was written about. It tells of a part of my life. I grew up in a very neglecting family. My mom was a basket case, puritan-style religious; and my father was an abusive alcoholic who abandon us when I was seven. My older sister was beautiful and talented and brave, and made me feel my only sense of what love was. She ran away at fifteen with a man twice her age, got pregnant, and our mother made her a ward of the state. She was "taken away" from me. And, I "would give anything I own, etc. just to have [her] back again."Jeff - Casa Grande, Az
In 1975 I was engaged to my High School sweetheart. She backed out but just for a short time and came running back. I wasn't so sure I wanted to resume the relationship. Two months of big time not knowing what to do went by. But one fateful day (in 1975)on my way to work I tuned in, yea you guessed it. It was already a favorite of mine. Then I realized I still loved her. I turned around the car right on the spot with tears running down. Went straight to her house and asked her to marry me again. And so we did.
So yea I sort of remember that song.
Connie - Walnut Cove, Sc
Very deep and well thought out lyrics from bread I also like "I'd Love You To Want Me"-Lobo and "I Can't Live If Living Is Without You"- Nealson and let not forget the Styleistics and Jim Crocies contributions from male artists of this genre and time. All very moving. Oh, and on more, "If You Could Read My Mind" -Gordon Lightfoot.Robert - Los Angeles, Ca
Just in case, well, this should settle any conjecture:

I saw Bread in Salt Lake City in the mid 70's. Before performing this song, Gates said,"Most people think this song is about a lost lover. But it's actually about my father, a very fine man born and raised in the city of St. George Utah."

Also, most people don't know that Bread's excellent pianist Larry Knechtel was responsible for the majestic piano work on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".
Mark - Tremonton, Ut
This is one of those songs that makes me stop whatever I'm doing and listen when it comes on the radio. I spent years thinking it was about a romantic relationship. When I heard that it was actually about David Gates' father, that just made it even more special. David Gates deserves to be mentioned among the great songwriters in rock/pop history.Mark - Mchenry, Il
This is one of the most beautiful & emotional songs ever written or sung!Michael - San Diego, Ca
Didn't ONJ release a version of this song ?Ivan - Dallas, Tx
I'm 21 and I mostly listen to bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Judas Priest, but I love Bread! My friend, who's mostly into 60's psychadelic and some 70's rock, got me to buy the best of Bread. As soon as I heard "Mother Freedom" and "Down on my Knees" I was hooked! I now own every single Bread album including a custom burned CD of "Lost Without Your Love" that I special ordered off the internet! I like all their songs and I would've loved to see them realease a live album, it's too bad they didn't last too long. R.I.P. Mike & Jimmy.Nick - Paramus, Nj
"Everything I own"1974 (also Name of album/cd)sung~reggae by Ken Boothe, early in his musical career also includes ?Rasta Never Fall?... and more by one of Reggae?s old school :)Nitsua - La, Ca
By the way, 2005 was a bad year for Bread fans. Jimmy Griffin died on Jan. 13 and Mike Botts died Dec. 9, both of cancer. Let's hope David and Larry still have a lot of years left.Bobodobo - Los Angeles, Ca
I have to agree with Frank about Bread, they were great musicians who put out some really quality albums. But as a 70's guy who admitted to liking Bread, I had to put up with a lot of ridicule from the macho types.

I recently found in my mp3 collection a version of "Baby I'm a Want You" in which Jimmy Griffin sings the lead, with a somewhat scaled-down instrumental accompaniment. I never had a very high opinion of Griffin as a lead singer, but he really nailed this one! I actually like it better that Gates's version, despite the fact that Gates has a flawless voice. Unfortunately I have no idea where I got the Griffin version, and I can't find anything like it on iTunes, where I get most of my music. So I don't know what to tell you if you want to hear it yourself.
Bobodobo - Los Angeles, Ca
Bread was one of the greatest all-around groups ever, in my opinion. Unfortunately, most people only remember the singles, like "Baby I'm a Want You". That's a song which even I turn off. If you go back and listen to albums like "Manna" and "On The Waters" and "Guitar Man", you will hear a wide range of well written, flawlessly performed and superbly sung music of all types. These guys were all long-time studio musicians, producers and songwriters who came together for a few years, (They were the biggest selling pop group in 1971), and disbanded in 1973 when, I suppose, David Gates' and Jimmy Griffin's egos clashed. They left behind a number of albums, any of which I recommend. If you never heard their album cuts, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.Frank - Westminster, Sc