Bachman-Turner Overdrive Biography

Formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1972, this hard rock outfit featured former Guess Who member Randy Bachman (27 September 1943, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; guitar, lead vocals). Bachman had left the Guess Who in July 1970, recorded a solo album, Axe, and, owing to a bout of illness, had to cancel a projected collaboration with former Nice keyboard player Keith Emerson. He subsequently formed Brave Belt with his brother Robbie Bachman, C.F. ‘Fred’ Turner (b. 16 October 1943, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) and Chad Allan (b. Allan Kobel). Brave Belt recorded two unsuccessful albums for Reprise Records in 1971-72, after which Allan was replaced by another Bachman brother, Tim. In 1972 the new band took its new name, the word ‘Overdrive’ being borrowed from a trade magazine for truck drivers. They signed to Mercury Records in 1973 and released a self-titled first album that made a minor impact in the USA and at home in Canada. After constant touring in the USA, the band’s second album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, provided their breakthrough, reaching number 4 in the USA and yielding the number 12 hit ‘Takin’ Care Of Business’. Tim Bachman departed at that point, replaced by Blair Thornton (b. 23 July 1950). The third album, Not Fragile, released in the summer of 1974, topped the US album charts and provided the US number 1/UK number 2 hit single ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’, sung with a dramatized stutter by Randy Bachman. Four Wheel Drive, the band’s 1975 album, was its last Top 10 recording, although they continued to release singles and albums until the end of the 70s.

Randy Bachman departed in 1977, forming Ironhorse as well as recording solo. He was replaced by Jim Clench, and the following year the band officially changed its name to B.T.O. but could not revive its earlier fortunes. In 1984, Randy Bachman, Tim Bachman and C.F. Turner regrouped, with ex-Guess Who drummer Garry Peterson, and released a second self-titled album that barely scraped the US charts. Tim Bachman continued to lead a version of the band before several other original members returned to tour in the early 90s. Randy Bachman subsequently left the band once more to concentrate on his songwriting career. Turner, Thornton, Rob Bachman and new member Randy Murray have continued to keep the band’s name alive on the concert circuit. The quartet returned to the studio in 1996 to re-record some of the band’s classic material and five new tracks for the Trial By Fire album.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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