was a Canadian
hard rock band formed in 1972 by former Guess Who
member Randy Bachman. After a failed solo attempt, the British Columbian
formed the band Brave Belt
with his brother Robin, C.F. 'Fred' Turner, and Chad Allan. The band released two poorly received albums, after which they booted Allen and hired another Bachman brother, Tim. Adding the 'Overdrive' from a trade magazine for truckers, the band quickly signed a contract with Mercury Records
, and released their self-titled debut album in 1973.
The album was largely ignored in the United States and Canada (despite winning two Juno Awards), and Tom Bachman left the band to pursue a career in production. He was replaced with Blair Thornton. After constant touring throughout North America, the band dropped a bomb on the land that same year with "Bachman-Turner Overdrive II". The album hit #4 in the U.S., and won Juno Awards for Best Group, Album, and Producer. The album was powered by singles like "Let It Ride" and "Takin' Care Of Business" which reached as high as #12 in the U.S. BTO II is certified gold in eight countries.
Takin' Care Of Business has one of the strangest back stories associated with it. While Randy Bachman was working with Guess Who, he wrote a song called "White Collar Worker", but it was put on the back shelf. When
Turner lost his voice during an early BTO tour, Randy took over, simplified the chords so his bandmates could learn it quickly, and played it one night. The crowd loved it, and it ended up on BTO II. But that's not the strange part.
A pizza delivery man named Norman Durkee was delivering a pizza to Steve Miller and War at Mercury Studios when he inadvertantly walked into BTO's recording session. Upon hearing the song, he suggested that it needed a piano in it. Durkee recorded a piano track while the band ate his pizza, decided that they liked it, and kept it in the song.
It's ironic that Office Depot chose the song as its theme song, perhaps doubly so, considering that the 'business' being taken care of is the business of nothing, and the band's attitude in the song is the antithesis of the nine-to-five office worker's.
The following year saw the release of the band's most successful album, "Not Fragile". The album went straight to the top of the charts, and the single "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" hit #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the U.K. This was the height of the band's success. Elvis adopted the phrase Takin' Care Of Business as his own, wearing sunglasses with the initials TCB on the sides (and EP on the front), and inviting the band to meet him backstage in 1975.
Under pressure from Mercury, the band recorded "Four Wheel Drive" in six days. Featuring mostly rejected filler material from the last album, it hit the top ten on reputation alone. It was to be their last top ten album, and after 1977's "Freeways", Randy Bachman left the group. The band hired Jim Clench of April Wine to replace him, and officially changed their name to BTO, but despite continued touring and recording, the band couldn't find success and called it quits at the end of the 1970's.
In 1984 the band reunited in two different forms, with Randy fronting Bachman-Turner Overdrive and brother Robin fronting BTO. A subsequent lawsuit by Randy over the group's entity gave him control over the name and logo, and he and his bandmates (Turner, Tim Bachman, and Garry Peterson) began recording again, releasing another self-titled album. It was all but ignored.
Today, the band continues to tour and release wave after wave of greatest hits packages and live recordings.