Dutch single release
|Single by Bread|
|from the album Guitar Man|
|B-side||"Didn't Even Know Her Name"|
|Released||December 1972 (UK)
January 24, 1973 (US)
|Bread singles chronology|
"Aubrey" is a song written and composed by David Gates, and originally recorded by the pop-rock group Bread, of which Gates was the leader and primary music producer. It appeared on Bread's 1972 album Guitar Man. The single lasted 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 15. In Canada the song reached only number 41 on the pop singles chart, but reached number six on the adult contemporary chart. In New Zealand, "Aubrey" reached number eight.
David Gates wrote the song after watching Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn. It swapped the assumed gender of the name Aubrey, nearly extinguishing its use as a male name and popularizing it as a female one. Actress Aubrey Plaza is named after the song, and Canadian rapper Drake's birth name is Aubrey.
The song was later recorded by Perry Como and was included on his 1973 album And I Love You So. A soul-jazz interpretation of the main melody of the song by saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. was sampled on the 1998 song "Step to My Girl" by Oakland-based hip-hop group Souls of Mischief. This version provided inspiration in turn for the song "Step" by American indie rock band Vampire Weekend.
Musical structure and lyrics
The song features David Gates' solo voice, with no backup vocals or drumming. It relies on various melodic resources such as orchestral strings, acoustic guitar, celeste, and orchestra bells. In the lyrics, the singer talks about a longing for a girl named Aubrey for whom he had unrequited love ("the hearts that never played in tune"); perhaps a first love. It is also said to be a song about shyness ("I never knew her, but I loved her just the same"). It is regarded as one of Bread's most beautiful, yet melancholic, songs.[by whom?]
- "Aubrey" 1973 Hot 100 chart position from Billboard
- Donald A. Guarisco. "Aubrey - Bread | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "Aubrey - Baby Girl Name Meaning and Origin". Oh Baby! Names. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "Perry Como – And I Love You So". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
- Boilen, Bob. "Vampire Weekend On New York, Souls Of Mischief And The Secrets Of Its New Album". npr.org. National Public Radio. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
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