Fireworks

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - 'Bachman-Turner Overdrive' / 'Bachman-Turner Overdrive II' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2b/10/10/Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-bto-bto-II-98-1375063854.jpg Hot

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Gives an interesting insight into the evolution of a classic Canadian institution.

Changing their name from the lesser known Brave Belt, guitarist Randy Bachman's post-The Guess Who band eventually evolved into an almost family affair, with brother Tim on rhythm guitar and other brother Robbie on drums, as well as singing bassist Fred Turner. The Winnipeg-based quartet would go on to make it big worldwide with their third album, 'Not Fragile', on the back of the hit singles 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' and 'Roll On Down The Highway', but their blues-based boogie sound started to make waves two years earlier when their 1973 self-titled debut was released, and here the album has been remastered along with the more successful 1974 follow-up 'BTO II' for a two on one CD re-issue by the long-standing BGO label.

The debut, whilst sowing the seeds of what the band would become, sadly lacked in the songwriting department despite some spirited guitar playing and great grooves running through the likes of 'Gimme Your Money Please', 'Little Gandy Dancer' and the memorable 'Thank You For The Feelin''. The twin guitar harmonies of The Allman Brothers were borrowed liberally for 'Hold Back The Water' and the jazzy, laid-back 'Blue Collar' would be a highlight if they hadn't dragged out the basic melody for far too long, a criticism that could also be levelled at 'Stayed Awake All Night'. All in all 'BTO' was a solid, if unspectacular record that garnered decent sales on both sides of the Canadian border.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The following year 'BTO II' went some way to solving their problems, with the opening 'Blown' and raucous 'Let It Ride' having the proto-type acoustic strumming, dramatic power chords and infectious shuffle beat that would later provide them with a worldwide number one. The sound of the album was much better than the flat debut and Turner in particular had grown into a fine gravel-voiced singer, putting his stamp all over the sub-ZZ Top boogie of 'Give It Time' and the very first bona fide BTO classic; 'Takin' Care Of Business'. A trio of quite dull songs bring the overall standard down but they got it right on 'Welcome Home', with an acoustic verse, big angry chorus and mid-song instrumental jazz workout proving that they weren't afraid to take chances.

This is probably a release for BTO completists only but gives an interesting insight into the evolution of a classic Canadian institution.

Phil Ashcroft

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