Randy Bachman’s career has reached the half century mark. He began in 1960 as a part of Al & The Silvertones and moved on to such groups as The Guess Who, Brave Belt, Iron Horse, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bachman-Cummings, plus assorted solo projects.
Fred Turner spent some time with Bachman in Brave Belt before joining him in the group which bears his name. He provided the vocals for such hits as “Let It Ride” and “Roll On Down The Highway.”
Randy Bachman would leave and return to BTO several times, but by the early nineties was gone for good. The band would finally dissolve in 2004. Recently Bachman and Turner began playing and writing together again and were planning to tour and record under the Bachman-Turner Overdrive name until a lawsuit by other former members prevented its use. They have responded by releasing an album just using their last names, Bachman & Turner.
Their new album contains elements that are classic seventies BTO but also moves in a jazzier direction upon occasion especially with some of the Randy Bachman compositions. It was this jazz/rock tension that initiated some of the problems with Bachman’s relationship with the original Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
The rock tracks are the best and safest ground for Randy Bachman and Fred Turner. Songs such as “Slave To The Rhythm,” “Rolling Along,” “I’ve Seen The Light,” and especially “Rock And Roll Is The Only Way Out” combine rock and pop melodies which reach back to their best work together.
The jazz oriented or material outside their usual framework are not bad by any means but give the album a lack of overall cohesiveness. Fans of the band will make the ultimate decision regarding this material. It you a fan of their classic sound I would advise just downloading those tracks. If you want to take a few chances with Bachman & Turner then buy the whole album.
My only major complaint is the production. It is below average at best and detracts from the music in places. Randy Bachman and Fred Turner are veterans and should have paid more attention to the final mix of the album.
Bachman & Turner, despite its dual nature, is a nice trip back to the seventies. It may not be terribly creative but it is comfortable and in places provides some excellent rock that one would expect from Randy Bachman and Fred Turner.