When guitarist Randy Bachman left the Guess Who he turned right around and formed Brave Belt with Chad Allan. Allan had left the Guess Who early on. Bachman also loaded the band with siblings. But after two unsuccessful albums Brave Belt hung it up. But Bachman was not about to resign himself to being a has-been. Adding C.F. (Fred) Turner on bass and vocals, the Bachman brothers Randy, Tim (guitar/vocals) and Robbie (drums/vocals) christened themselves Bachman-Turner Overdrive with the "Overdrive" tag lifted from a trucking magazine. Early on though, Tim took a hike. Touring was interfering with his interest in music production. Blair Thornton signed on and was the second guitarist during the group's most successful period. Also, inevitably, the name was shortened to B.T.O.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive took a very blue-collar approach toward their music - a sort of Creedence Clearwater Revival for the mid-'70s. In fact, their first chart single was entitled "Blue Collar." The music was lean, no frills Rock. All the key elements were where they had to be.
The self-titled debut didn't do a lot but B.T.O set out on a relentless tour schedule. "Let It Ride" was released but just missed the Top 20 and "Takin' Care Of Business" just missed the Top 10. However, these "near misses" didn't deter the band. With their next song they did something not even C.C.R. managed. "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" topped the charts. The song, from the "Not Fragile" was written by Randy for his brother Gary who had a stuttering problem. Randy's stuttering through the song provided an unforgettable vocal hook. Singles "Roll On Down The Highway" and "Hey You" followed but with diminished results.
Randy Bachman tried some solo projects, including teaming up briefly with former Guess Who partner, Burton Cummings. Bachman also started Ironhorse and Union but neither band made much of an impression.
1973 Bachman-Turner Overdrive
1973 Bachman-Turner Overdrive II
1974 Not Fragile
1974 Four Wheel Drive
1975 Head On
1978 Street Action
1979 Rock n' Roll Nights
1984 Bachman-Turner Overdrive
1996 Trial By Fire: Greatest And Latest
2010 Bachman & Turner
1977 BTO Live - Japan Tour
1986 Live Live Live
1994 Best Of Bachman-Turner Overdrive Live
1997 Motorcity Detroit USA Live
1998 King Biscuit Flower Hour: Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Best Compilation Album:
1976 Best Of BTO (So Far) 2x Multi-Platinum
Bachman-Turner Overdrive's self-titled '73 debut is a bit shaky. But the next two albums deliver. "Bachman-Turner Overdrive II" and "Not Fragile" are the group's twin peaks. The former has "Takin' Care Of Business" and Let It Ride" while the latter features "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" and "Roll On Down The Highway." "Bachman-Turner Overdrive: The Anthology" is a two CD set that covers the group's glory years and beyond. "Best of B.T.O." is a more concise single disc hits package. Avoid "All Time Greatest Hits - Live" on Curb. Bad performance, bad recording but just the kind of crap Curb Records was known for.