Bachman and Turner – Bachman and Turner (2010)

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No one represented Canadian (or North American) meat and potatoes hard rock better back in the day than Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

For fans of that kind of rock, there’s some great news: Randy Bachman and Fred Turner reunited for the first time since the mid-1970s and in 2010 issued a record of all new tunes that reside entirely in the spirit of the old BTO, called, simply, Bachman and Turner.

It was reunion that happened by accident. When Randy Bachman invited Fred Turner to make a vocal appearance on a track for Bachman’s next solo project, the guest turn sparked a a full-fledged joining of forces, and Turner ended up contributing tracks as well as more vocals, while Bachman shelved tracks that didn’t fit, including cuts that featured other Canadian icons like Jeff Healey and Neil Young. That’s how good Bachman must have felt about this reunion. As it turns out, his vibe was right.

Turner’s full throated voice is completely intact, as are Bachman’s massive riffs and chops. For anyone else playing guitar like that, I’d be tempted to call it clichéd, but Bachman invented these much-imitated licks. Nearly every song is trying to be some rock and roll anthem and many of them succeed: listening to “Rollin’ Along,” “Moonlight Rider,” “Slave To The Rhythm” and “Repo Man” is almost like tuning in to an AM rock radio station back in the day. “Can’t Go Back To Memphis” is great blooz rock and “That’s What It Is” is powered by Bachman’s trademark shuffle. “Rock And Roll Is The Only Way Out” is a half-hearted attempt at rap, the only real misstep on the entire record.

So why not make it official and call it a BTO album? Blame it on some legal stuff. But it doesn’t take a lawyer to figure out that this is a record by the same masterminds behind one of the most successful hard-rockin’ bands of the Watergate era. This is a welcome return for the two co-frontmen in a group that made some great feel-good rockers. Bachman And Turner brings back that same feeling.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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