1974 Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Let It Ride
Randy Bachman had difficulty dealing with the drug-laden lifestyle that overtook the Guess Who and left the band in 1970. He formed Brave Belt with his brother. He took Neil Young’s advice and hired Fred Turner to play as part of a touring band. Neither the first Brave Belt album or Brave Belt II did well.
A third album was recorded with a slightly different lineup, and the band signed with Mercury Records. Instead of releasing the album as Brave Belt 3, they chosed to create a new band name: Backman-Turner Overdrive.
The band’s first single in 1973 had two A-sides, neither of which reached the Hot 100 in the US. Our radio station played one side of the single, Gimme Your Money Please, which stalled at #45 on the Canadian chart.
The band opened for the Doobie Brothers on a tour to support their first album. While driving on an interstate, the band’s bus got boxed in by a few trucks. They followed the truck drivers to a rest area and confronted them about the incident. One of the drivers told the band to take it easy and just let it ride. The phrase struck a chord with the band, and they proceeded to write a song based on it.
Randy had admitted in an interview that he was just a musician who would play what the public would pay for, even if it meant singing country love songs. Since they were opening for the Doobie Brothers, the song they composed started out with the kind of guitar chords they were hearing from the Doobies in concert. The result became the band’s first top forty single, Let It Ride.
The record peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 in the US and reached #3 in Canada.
The band’s next three singles all reached the top twenty on the Hot 100, and You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet topped the chart later in 1974. When Steven King heard the song on the radio, he modified the name slightly to Richard Bachman and used that name as a pseudonym for several of his non-horror books.
Randy left the band in 1977 when the rest of the band declined to follow his suggestions for adding strings and horns to their recordings. The band recruited a replacement and began appearing as B.T.O. The lack of further success led to the group disbanding in 1979.
Randy and Fred reformed the group from 1983 to 1986, after which Tim Bachman led a B.T.O. group for a few years. Randy and Fred reformed the group again in 1988 to 1991. They toured as Bachman & Turner beginning in 2009.
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