Bachman-Turner Overdrive (a.k.a. BTO) was a highly acclaimed and veteran Canadian hard rock band that became famous during the mid and late 1970s. Their best known songs include such classic rock staples as the swaggering "Takin' Care Of Business" (1974), the stuttering "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (1974), and the rip-roaring "Roll On Down The Highway" (1975).
Formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the original members consisted of brothers Randy (lead guitar, lead vocals), Tim (guitar, vocals), and Robbie Bachman (drums) with C. Fred Turner (bass, lead vocals). Prior to BTO's founding, Randy Bachman had been a member of The Guess Who and also recorded solo. First known as Brave Belt, the band renamed itself after its members, with the "Overdrive" part inspired by a copy of a trucker's magazine of the same name they came across while dining at a restaurant in Windsor, Ontario on their way back from a gig. Tim Bachman left the band in early 1974 and was replaced by Blair Thornton (lead guitar) who, with Turner and Randy and Robbie Bachman, took turns writing/co-writing most of the band's hits. Randy Bachman left in 1977 and was replaced by former April Wine member Jim Clench (bass). By 1973, Bachman-Turner Overdrive had signed with Mercury, released their eponymous debut album, and had their first charting song with "Gimme Your Money Please"/"Little Gandy Dancer," which reached #45 on the Canadian charts.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive debuted on the U.S. charts in late 1973 with the Turner-penned "Blue Collar," which was followed soon after by the band's first Top 40 hit, "Let It Ride" (1974). BTO's fame began to take off later that year with "Takin' Care Of Business" (1974) and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (1974), the latter of which topped the charts in the U.S., Canada, and a number of other countries worldwide and became their greatest hit. Other top hits include "Roll On Down The Highway" (1975), "Hey You" (1975), "Take It Like A Man" (1976) featuring Little Richard on piano, and "Lookin' Out For #1" (1976) which became a Top 20 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. BTO's long string of hits continued through 1979 in both the U.S. and Canada with "Free Wheelin'" (1974), "Down To The Line" (1975), "Gimme Your Money Please" (1976), and "Heartaches" (1979).
After disbanding in 1980, Bachman-Turner Overdrive reformed in 1983 with a lineup that included Fred Turner and Randy and Tim Bachman, and they continued recording and performing actively through 2005, with many personnel changes. Randy Bachman and Turner reunited a second time in 2009 as Bachman & Turner and continued through 2018. At the height of their commercial fame in the 1970s, BTO released a string of gold- and platinum-certified albums and, to date, have sold over 30 million records worldwide. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
- For more info about BTO founder Randy Bachman and his current projects, visit randybachman.com.
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- Hey You 1975
- Let It Ride 1974
- Roll On Down The Highway 1975
- Takin' Care Of Business 1974
- You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet 1974
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Figures On A Beach (1989).)
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