After a promising but commercially unsuccessful debut, Bread returned the next year with an equally polished follow-up, On the Waters, that gave the group its first hit single in "Make It With You." This mellow David Gates composition downplayed the folk-ish rock edge present in their other material to create a lush, intimate ballad that set a template for many future ballad-styled Bread hits. The title sounds like an amorous come-on but the lyrics are a much sweeter, more romantic affair: "If I choose the one to help me through/I'd like to make it with you/I really think that we can make it, girl." The music echoes this sweetly seductive tone by matching yearning verse melodies full of ascending notes with a lower chorus that lends itself to silky crooning. Bread's recording of "Make It With You" lives up to the elegance of the song thanks to arrangement that layers dreamy strings over a soft rock arrangement highlighted by the country-flavored twang of its guitars and a gentle yet fluid vocal delivery from David Gates. The result was perfect slow-dance music for a romantic encounter and this quality helped "Make It With You" become a number one hit. The soulful quality of the song also made it a staple cover for R&B performers, inspiring versions by artists like Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire.