achman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) was started in Winnipeg, Canada by the Bachman brothers Randy, Robbie and Tim. The former had been a member of the 60's Canadian Rock outfit The Guess Who before releasing a 1970 solo album, Axe, with help from Garry Peterson (drums), Wes Dakus (steel guitar) and Dan Toriano (guitar). He would also found a short-lived country-rock band Brave Belt who issued two albums in the form of Brave Belt and Brave Belt II in 1971 and 1972 respectively with cohorts C.F. (Fred) Turner (bass/vocals), himself, Chad Allan (ex-Guess Who; vocals/keyboards) and Robbie Bachman (drums).
With Tim Bachman replacing Allan they signed to 'Mercury' as Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973 to record several singles and two albums Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1973) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (1974) to make steady movements onto U.S. radio. The albums made 70 and 4 U.S. respectively, the second charted based almost solely on their first serious hit single track, the thumping wall shaker Takin' Care Of Business that made 12 on its own, a track that still receives wide airplay in Canada to this day. But they slammed a home run with the stuttering hit You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet making #1 on the U.S. charts and dragging their third set Not Fragile (1974) along on the ride to a similar #1 U.S./12 U.K. Unlike many of their peers the Bachman's could not live the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle as their Mormon faith forbid alcohol, drugs and even coffee and tea, nevertheless the workingman ("Blue Collar" brigade as they called them in one of their songs) adopted them as their own and bought up enough records to allow them a set of hit albums through the 1970s with Four Wheel Drive (1975; a 5 U.S. charter), Head On (1976; 23 U.S.), Japan Tour (1977; live) and Freeways (1977). The final album made only 70 U.S. and with waning popularity Randy left to go solo with Jim Clench replacing him for the now abbreviated BTO band.
As BTO they marched on to release Street Action (1978) and their first live effort Rock 'n' Roll Nights (1979). Randy Bachman meanwhile was releasing his Survivor (1978) effort with Burton Cummings (keyboards), Ian Gardiner (bass), Jeff Porcaro (drums) and Tom Scott (sax). He would then form the similar sounding Ironhorse with Tom Sparks (guitar), John Pierce (bass), Mike Baird (drums) and Barry Allen (vocals) to release Ironhorse (1979) and Everything Is Gray (1980) with Frank Ludwig (vocals/keyboards), Ron Foos (bass) and Chris Leighton (drums).
In 1984 Bachman-Turner Overdrive was reunited with Randy, Tim, Fred Turner and newcomer Garry Peterson (drums) to release Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1984) and Live!-Live!-Live! (1986; live) before the act basically split again with Randy moving on to join Union and write for Beach Boys, etc. as well as releasing Any Road (1993) as Bachman and Merge (1997) as Randy Bachman, both with guest musicians.