Remastered Hits: The Best of...
Having already secured his place in rock and roll history with the Guess
Who (at one time one of the biggest bands in the world), large-bearded
guitarist Randy Bachman decided sometime in the early 70's that he had some
yah-yah's to bust out. Enlisting the help of some of his brothers and the
prodigal talent of one similarly large-bearded C.F. Turner, he formed the
mighty, large-bearded Bachman-Turner Overdrive. FM Radio was never the same
Gone was the winsome pining and slightly rebellious edge of the mustachioed
Burton Cummings, and absent was the abject mistrust of The Man. The
self-referential analysis of Canada-U.S. geo-political discourse, as typified
in "American Woman," was left behind in the Guess Who's sunburnt dust. The
culture of communal dissent was replaced by one of self-reliance, as typified
by the subdued, salsa-tinged number "Looking Out for #1."
BTO took the roll out of rock and packaged it in a drag-strip-ready,
nuts-and-bolts package that sold tons of records (and later, a host of
Time-Life retrospective packages). Regardless of the similarity and soulless
chops of songs like "Takin' Care of Business," "Hey You," and "Four Wheel
Drive," this band succeeded in helping all members of the band settle down
in the suburbs, stacked with mutual funds and a lifetime supply of boat
shoes. Life wasn't so easy for the BTO boys, though. Drummer Robbie
Bachman, just a young pup during BTO's heyday, once complained about how the
"pressures of fame" really dragged him down in those frenzied early days.
Those who still cling to BTO-- and you know who you are-- are usually dorky
minivan types who think rock and roll is about having your friends over for
beer and barbecue. Let me say on behalf of the world's young people that
all you people truly suck. Even in your retro phase there's nothing remotely
charming or rocking about you. Here's hoping that next T-Bone you eat leaves
you choking on your own excess. Die! Die! Die!