Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Number 626 - Bachman Turner Overdrive




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Number 626

Bachman-Turner Overdrive

"Aint Seen Nothing Yet"

(1974)
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Genre:Rock
As yes, Bach as Radar once said in M*A*S*H. Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) had two massive singles in their career but which one is bigger? "You aint see nothing yet" or "Takin' care of Business" ? I bet you if i could do a vote thingy, that it would be 50/50. Hey lets try it!




After gaining some recognition from the success of the band's previous album,
Bachman-Turner Overdrive got around to recording Not Fragile. Not only had one of the three Bachman brothers (Tim, the rhythm guitarist) left the band to BTO's advantage, but Randy Bachman and C.F. Turner had clearly grown musically. To the album's benefit, most of the material on Not Fragile are the band's much-liked rock anthems, ranging from the hyper-distorted title track, through the famous but far more timid song "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." Indeed, for hard rock fanatics, it doesn't come much better than on Not Fragile. Randy's electrifying lead guitar is here more raucous than ever before, as are his rowdy vocals (particularly noticeable on the predictable, but fun "Sledgehammer"). The man steals the show on Not Fragile through his extensive and often astounding guitar solos. Generally, though, Bachman-Turner Overdrive are at their prime as a whole, both in songwriting and playing terms. As regards the mixing, it's hard to find fault with this release. The drums are clear but not so prominent that they dominate the recording, while the guitars, along with the bass, are kept rigidly in their place. Not Fragile is one of the finest arena rock albums of the era, featuring all the hallmarks of what makes a classic release in the genre. Randy's impressive guitar work and typically boisterous vocals complement the overall framework of the album superbly, as do the crunchy rhythm guitars. This release will astound fans of the genre and band, while those thoroughly against stadium rock may find something to convert their views. ~ Ben Davies

For Black Sabbath see Number 826 & Number 979
For Led Zeppelin Number 957
For Stooges see Number 980

A not so great review from Rolling Stone ..
Imagine Black Sabbath without instrumental dynamism and lyrical vision; imagine Led Zeppelin without pyrotechnics: What you're imagining is the —a lowest-common-denominator rock band that's found immense commercial success in a stylistic limbo between heavy-metal and MOR rock. They rely heavily on the basics to convey their musical message, but unlike 99% of their competition, BTO give the impression that the basics are about all they have to offer.

Not Fragile breaks no new ground, but BTO's first two albums had already demonstrated that such a concept is of little concern to this band. BTO prefer to rely on an already familiar formula—grab a chunky guitar riff, have all four instruments pound it into the ground in unison, add guitar solos and you've got a song. Lyrics are used, but not so much sung as shouted over the instrumental din. It's a very simplistic operation, but what BTO lack in imagination, subtlety, technique, structural dynamics, flash et al., they more than compensate for with lots of volume.

Of the album's nine songs, "Not Fragile" possesses the most effective basic riff (and is therefore the best song). Other highlights include the onomatopoetic "Sledgehammer," in which Randy Bachman compares an ex-girlfriend to the title object, and "Free Wheelin'," an instrumental that sounds like all the other songs except that it has no vocals.

But it's hard not to like this album and BTO. For like the early Stooges albums, the group's records are commendable for their no-nonsense directness: BTO hasn't much to say, but they don't bore the listener by trying to find cutesy ways to belabor the fact. While their concrete instrumental moves and simplistic themes remind me of a high school band that's attained basic proficiency only through years of incessant practice, the end product of BTO's labors sounds great when it's turned up loud. And that's a lot more than can be said for some of the offerings of BTO's more talented brethren. (RS 172) GORDON FLETCHER 1974


Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We ah, we er, um) and the Album ranked at Number (forgot?)

This song has a total crowbarred rating of 71.5 out of 108
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
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