Sunday, February 19, 2012

Song #124 (and 125) of 9999 - Baby I'm-a Want You by Bread (plus a bonus!)

Song #124 of 9999                                                  Song #125 of 9999

Title: Baby I'm-a Want You                                      Title: 1972
Artist: Bread                                                            Artist: Josh Rouse
Year: 1971                                                               Year: 2003
Album: Baby I'm-a Want You                                   Album: 1972

Recently, I was talking with my friend Erik about the song selection available to me in 1971 and Bread came up. He said "I love Bread!" and I suggested that they were a good guilty pleasure band. He said he didn't feel guilty at all, so I thought I would remind him of "Baby I'm-a Want You," which I think is a terrific song but definitely belongs on anyone's guilty pleasure list for its lyrics alone. But if you let yourself revel in what may be the corniest lyrics of the 20th century, you'll discover a pretty little love song with a clever chord progression and a surprisingly upbeat bridge.

In fact, this type of love song is so iconic of the early 1970s that Josh Rouse co-opted its characteristics (mid-tempo acoustic pop with loads of major- and minor-sevenths) for the title track to his album 1972. (Yes, I know I'm in 1971 right now—for the record the Bread single was released in '71 but the album followed in '72.) Rouse was born in 1972 and decided to make a record of songs that could have been released during the year of his birth. There are hints of Carole King, Jackson Browne, Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Seals and Crofts and, yes, Bread. It's a great album—my favorite by Rouse for sure. You should check it out!

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