Reviews

Bachman Turner OverdriveBachman Turner Overdrive
Album: Head On and Freeways
Label: BGO
Tracks: 17
Website: http://www.bachmanandturner.com

Bachman Turner Overdrive, or BTO as the band is sometimes affectionately known, was a Canadian ensemble with a reputation for delivering hard rock music. This reputation was based on their musicianship, their vocals and songwriting skills which were all honed to perfection in both live sets and the recording studios throughout the 1970's.

The latest album, to be released on the 2nd October 2015 is a digitally remastered copy of two previous albums, Head On and Freeways, released in 1975 and 1977 respectively. The band broke up not long after the release of Freeways when Randy decided to pursue a solo career. They have got back together as a band at different times in the intervening years with various musicians and have recently reunited again as Bachman & Turner (Randy and Fred) and are again touring in the near future.

To date, the band has sold over 30 million albums with arguably the most famous song being "You ain't seen nothing yet" which rather disappointingly does not appear on this latest revision. However there are enough strong and powerful numbers on this album to satisfy any fan of heavy rock music. Listening to the album now, my feet seem to have taken on a life of their own, tapping away merrily on both the floor and the keyboard. My fingers that is for the last part!

The musicians appearing on this album consist of: Randy Bachman, C F (Fred) Turner, Blair Thornton, Ron Bachman and conga support from Barry Keane. The vocals are shared between Randy and Fred and the voices are instantly recognisable for fans of 70's music. The music occasionally slows down and although it works well, it is their drive and dynamism that makes them stand out from other bands of that era.

The band never achieved the popularity in the UK that they enjoyed in the States and Canada but that should in no way diminish their achievements One lovely story about the band involves author Stephen King. Apparently his Richard Bachman pen name came from Bachman-Turner Overdrive when he was listening to the band's song "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" at the time his publisher asked him to choose a pseudonym on the spot. Inspiration or luck?

The music as you would expect is typically the sound of the 70's but I personally have no problem with that. It was an era of great driving sounds when mamy drivers wore natty little leather gloves and played great air drums. This band were a major influence on that style of music and it still sounds as good today as it did then. One song that possibly sums up the band's history whilst also personifying their style of music is the very appropriately named "Stay Alive" and I am really pleased to see that they have done just that.

Rory Stanbridge

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