>> Bachman & Turner: Self Titled (2010)

Artist: Bachman & Turner

Album: Bachman & Turner

Members: Randy Bachman, Fred Turner, Brent Howard, Marc LaFrance, Mick Dalla-Vee

Genre: Rock

Label: RBE Music/Fontana

Tracks: 12

Type: LP

Release Date: September 7, 2010

Rating: 2.22 (out of 4.00)

Grade: C

Official Site

Why they didn’t call themselves Bachman Turner Overdrive…

After Randy left the band in the 70’s, his brother Rob Bachman took over and now owns the name with fellow original member, Blair Thorton. So Randy and Fred are legally prohibited from calling themselves Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Maybe it took a global recession to bring the most blue collar of bands back together.  Sure Springsteen spoke to the soul and Bob Seger spoke to the gut, but Bachman Turner Overdrive spoke to the heart of the workin’ man.  But like everyone else, they’ve downsized and simplified too.  So say bye bye “Overdrive” and say hello to Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, aka Bachman & Turner.  

The 20 year reunion began as a Randy Bachman solo album.  He invited Fred Turner to sing on a single track, which turned out so well that it morphed into a full blown collaboration.  So for those looking for the classic BTO sound, you will find it, but it just doesn’t seem to have aged as well as you’d hope.  Sure it’s solid rock and roll music, but it just doesn’t have the same impact like their classic hits that are still mainstays on the radio. 

This means you’re not going to find another, “Taking Care of Business.”   Not that they don’t try.  “Rollin’ Along,” “Slave to the Rhythm,” “Repo Man” and “Rock ‘N Roll is the Only Way Out” have the most appeal to the ardent BTO fans (and maybe even Homer Simpson will like them).  But several of the tracks, “That’s What it is,” “Find Some Love” and “Traffic Jam,” sound like they’ve been taking a page out of Steely Dan’s playbook, not quite your meat & potatoes music.  But at least they’re still singing about working hard and playing hard.  And they’re also acknowledging the plight of many with songs like “Repo Man” and “I’ve Seen the Light,” which deal with repossession and downsizing.  Not the most upbeat of tunes, but then it hasn’t been the most upbeat of times.  

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for Bachman Turner Overdrive.  I think they wrote some really catchy tunes that sound awesome while you’re driving down the highway with the windows down.  But I can’t say I’m completely sold on this new Bachman & Turner.  The key elements are there, but something is tangibly missing.  Maybe I’ve just gotten older or maybe their sound hasn’t.  But then again Homer Simpson didn’t want to hear “no new crap” when BTO visited Springfield, and I’ve got to kind of agree with him.  But if you have a dad or uncle who hasn’t bought a new album in forever, then I’d say you just might have the perfect gift.

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