Bachman-Turner Overdrive Albums Ranked

Bachman–Turner Overdrive often abbreviated as BTO, was a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who had a series of hit albums and singles in the 1970s, selling over 7 million albums in that decade alone. Their 1970s catalog included five Top 40 albums and six US Top 40 singles (eleven in Canada). The band has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide and has fans affectionately known as “gearheads” (derived from the band’s gear-shaped logo). Many of their songs, including “Let It Ride”, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”, “Takin’ Care of Business”, “Hey You”, and “Roll on Down the Highway”, still receive play on classic-rock stations.
After the band went into a hiatus in 2005, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner reunited in 2009 to tour and collaborate on a new album. In 2010, they played the halftime show at the Grey Cup in Edmonton. The two stopped touring following Turner’s amicable retirement in March 2018.
On March 29, 2014, the classic Not Fragile line-up reunited for the first time since 1991 to mark Bachman–Turner Overdrive’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and participated in performing in a tribute version of “Takin’ Care of Business”. Here are all of the Bachman-Turner Overdrive albums ranked.

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10. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (1974)

‘This one’s been described as everything from a Who cop – the stuttering vocal recalls “My Generation” – to a Lou Reed steal – the changes suggest “Sweet Jane” – but taking what does not belong to you is a crucial component in rock and roll.  As Randy Bachman tells it, though, the song is a joke, an accident that just happened to work.And work it does.  Bachman tears through the song, sputtering out the lyrics and when the band tackles a stack of power riffs on the break and holds on for dear life, his vocal keeps everything above the water, navigating an explosive stream of cliches.”

9. Rock & Roll Nights (1979)

“B.T.O. ran out of song ideas by this point.  The band relies on their produce Jim Vallance to write or co-write four of the nine songs.  But thats not a bad thing.  The songs are pretty good.  “Jamaica” “Heartaches” and “Rock n’ Roll Nights” are the best tracks here.  “Waisting Time” is a cover of a Bryan Adams tune. “End of the Line” was written by bassist Jimmy Clench and is a ballad.  I would rank this album higher if C.F. Turner had more vocals.  That should sum it up.”

8. Bachman-Turner Overdrive [1984] (1984)

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‘This is the last BTO album with Randy Bachman playing on it and can say its a cracker of an album very loud and full of wonderful hard driving songs.If you like the sound of BTO you will really enjoy this album,please check out Randys solo album Any Road its a cracker as well full of great songs from this highly talented guitarist song writer.Buy them both you will really enjoy;”

7. Freeways (1977)

‘This is the most difficult album of the bands catalog. Although some of the songs have a harder edge to them, the loud guitar and boisterous vocals are kept to a minimum. Randy Bachman wrote 7 of the 8 songs and provided vocals on six of them. The overall quality of these songs are slightly above average. Fred Turner said that he felt like a sideman on this album and refused to have a picture of the front of his face taken for the back cover photos. Three singles were released off of the album.  All of them failed to make the Billboard singles charts although “My Wheels Won’t Turn” crept into the Cash Box Top 100. This was Bachman’s last album with the group until the 1984 reunion.”

6. The Very Best of BTO (2001)

“These guys have such a solid, pulsating unique sound. “Gimme Your Money Please” and “Let It Ride” are such solid oldies as well as the great “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Takin’ Care of Business.” Guess Who members formed BTO and this album sure does chronicle an important sound of the ’60’s-70’s. Pulsating guitar sweeps with strong drum sync with that raspy lead vocals makes this band one that rocks strong with those who grew up with it and those who discover this legendary sound.”

5. Head On (1975)

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“Following “Four Wheel Drive”, “Head On” saw the introduction of jazz-tinged ballads along with BTO’s patented hard rock. However, the record has its fair share of weak spots. “Lookin’ Out For #1” was a fine example of the former…the group’s sole entry on the easy listening circuit…but was hard to digest for hardcore BTO fans. Still, one should recall that the band’s early single “Blue Collar” was a jazzy bossa nova number out of character with subsequent works. I figure all heavy metal bands have to experiment with their sound sooner or later, adding softer touches or else risk releasing about 14 albums that sound identical. Of course, “Head On” logically pointed toward BTO’s next excursion, “Freeways”. “

4. Four Wheel Drive (1975)

“Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Four Wheel Drive album is most often overlooked, mainly because all of the attention was focused on the singable “na na na naa”‘s of one of B.T.O.’s biggest hits in “Hey You.” But the rest of the album is made up of the band’s lunch-pail rock & roll sound, combining ample amounts of factory-made blues to street-dirty guitar rock. Although it can’t really hold a candle to Not Fragile, B.T.O.’s best album, there’s still a fair amount of well-played radio rock to hold Four Wheel Drive up.”

3.. Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (1973)

“achman-Turner Overdrive is most likely the most under-rated Rock Band of the 1970’s. After leaving the Guess Who in 1970 and the failure of Brave Belt to capture any attention, Randy was about left for dead by the Record Companies and Rock Audiences. Burton Cummings was going on in the Rock Magazines about Randy being: “All Washed-Up” and/or a: “Has-Been”. This is a Great Record, this is Great Rock Music, Randy had his Day and this is it.”

2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1973)

‘A great hard rock record from three Bachman brothers {Randy,Tim & Rob} and C.F. Turner, set the tone for many more that were to follow. Eight songs, good riffs, gruff vocals and guitars, guitars and more guitars. Three years after leaving The Guess Who, Randy at last had all the ingredients for success, great songs that are not too bluesy, great rhythms underline everything, simple lead lines that make their point and then vanish. Nothing here is over-produced by Randy, he wasn’t going to make the same mistakes of his past. This music doesn’t need glitter or snakes to be performed, just four guys, their gear, a few flannel shirts and a station wagon.”

1.Not Fragile (1974)

“The third time was indeed the charm for BTO, as “Not Fragile” was a corrosive mixture of hard heavy rock and a slight flourish of acoustic guitar. Their sole #1 album, it of course featured the humorous “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (a mild joke at the expense of a brother who stammered), as well as the trucker anthem “Roll On Down The Highway” and the fine instrumental “Free Wheelin”, a tribute to the late Duane Allman. As a matter of fact, nearly every track was an overall winner, and, even though all of them save “Second Hand” and “Givin’ It All Away” is on the 1993 “Anthology” box set, “Not Fragile” is a classic BTO opus and no record collection is complete without it, and watch out for those flying gear teeth.”