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Bachman-Turner Overdrive II Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Mercury, 1973)

Bachman-Turner Overdrive is a Canadian rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They were massive in the 70s, selling over 7 million
albums (in just that decade)! In total,
worldwide, BTO has sold over 30 million albums.

Randy Bachman was a founding member of the 60s rock band, The Guess Who. At the height of the Who’s popularity, just after they released American Woman, Bachman left the band for personal and medical reasons. In 1971, Bachman formed a new band, Brave Belt, with his younger brother Robbie Bachman and former Guess Who bandmate Chad Allan. When a tour was set up, Brave Belt welcomed Fred Turner on bass. Brave Belt didn’t really go anywhere, despite two albums and several tours. Allan left the band and Randy replaced him with another brother, Tim. Around 1973, Brave Belt morphed into Bachman-Turner Overdrive. (Overdrive was from the trucker’s magazine, Overdrive, that the band saw in a Windsor, Ontario truckstop.)

In May 1973, BTO released their first album. With modest sales, BTO threw themselves into some heavy tours and the results paid off. In December 1973, BTO released their second album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. BTO II peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 200 Album chart. This album contained 2 of BTO’s biggest hits, Let it Ride and Takin Care of Business. Both songs went to #3 in Canada. Let it Ride peaked at #23, Takin Care of Business peaked at #12 in the U.S.

Tim left the band in early 1974 and was replaced by Blair Thornton. This BTO line-up continued on until 1977. Here, things began to unravel. Randy left the group and BTO officially disbanded in 1980. In 1983, Randy and Tim Bachman, Turner and Garry Peterson (a member of the Guess Who) reunited BTO, but by 1986, more line-up changes were in store. In 1988, BTO returned (Randy, Turner, Thornton and Robbie). But by 1991, Randy left again.

In 2003, Bachman-Turner Overdrive was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Currently, Randy and Turner have reunited and continue to tour.