Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the band signed with Reprise Records and began touring – but needed a bassist for the tour and Fred Turner joined the band. When Chad Allen left Brave Belt, Turner took over the lead vocal duties and became an official band member. Tim Bachman, another brother, joined as second guitarist. A new name was suggested by Mercury Records’ staff to give the band a fresh start. Seeing the trucker magazine Overdrive, Randy Bachman suggested Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the initials and they stuck. Both appeared on the cover the band’s first LP released in 1973.
Their first single “Blue Collar” is our bubbling under hit as it only charted at #68 in the US. I love the guitar on this song as Randy Bachman illustrates his versatility. There is the bossa nova feel that he used previously used on the Guess Who’s “Undun.” The octave runs are reminiscent of jazz guitarists Tal Farlow and Wes Montgomery.
Bachman uses a wah-wah pedal in two of the solos. Another solo sounds as though the effect of tape print through was used as the left channel has a solo that is at lower volume and later repeated note-for-note in the right channel. Print through is found on the vocal track of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” I don’t think this is actually print through as the volume is consistent and the placing in the song is exact.
Some of the guitar sounds on “Blue Collar” were reprised for another bubbling under hit by BTO, “Looking out for Number One.” Both are great tunes that didn’t get the recognition worth their due.