Bachman Turner Overdrive – Hey You

As a kid growing up this is one of the first bands that I knew the name of…I knew them as BTO and later found out their full name. Something that I didn’t know…”Bachman” is pronounced “Back-man” not “Bock-man“…I always used the latter pronouncement. An American DJ pronounced it wrong and it stuck for Americans.

Randy Bachman not only wrote this song but also was the lead singer. Turns out there was a purpose to this song…Randy was inspired.

There were rumors that Randy Bachman was directing the lyrics straight out of his old lead singer…Burton Cummings. They were both from The Guess Who. Cummings had said that Bachman would never make it in the music business after leaving their band. Burton was wrong in this case.

Randy did confirm all of the rumors years later. Randy Bachman: “I deserved to gloat a bit after all the mud Burton had slung at me.”

The song was on Four Wheel Drive and that album peaked at #1 in Canada and #5 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1975. There were two singles that were released… Quick Change Artist which charted at #7 and this one. Hey You did as well as the album…it peaked at #1 in Canada and #21 in the Billboard 100.

Randy left the band in 1977 but the band continued as “BTO.” Bachman returned in 1983, and the band has toured and recorded sporadically since.

I remember BTO opening up for Van Halen in 1986 on an 11-month tour. This was Van Halen’s first tour with new lead singer Sammy Hagar, who wanted BTO to blast out hits to get the crowd fired up. Van Halen would take the stage minutes later, leaving no time for the crowd to think about David Lee Roth.

Hey You

Hey you, you say you wanna change the world
It’s alright, with me there’s no regret
It’s my turn, the circle game has brought me here
And I won’t let down ’til every song is set

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Hey you, you say the race is much too fast
It’s okay, with me I’m keeping pace
It’s my game, the music is inside my head
For every one on top there’s one who can’t retrace

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh ooh
The music’s gone now, you’ll find out
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

You realize now, ooh
You could have tried now
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Sha la la la, hey you, hey you, hey you (Woo!)
Sha la la la, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baby, it’s true (Woo!)
Sha la la la, no time, no time left, no time (Woo!)
Sha la la la, don’t let me down, don’t let me down (Woo!)
Sha la la la, you gotta learn to take it easy, baby (Woo!)
Sha la la la, music’s over, it’s over (Woo!)
Sha la la la, too late, too late, too late (Woo!)
Sha la la la, I should have realised it a lot sooner than this (Woo!)
Sha la la la, hey you


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Bachman Turner Overdrive – Hey You”

  1. definitely a goodie and one that was big back where I’m from. Never knew it was directed at Burton, but looking at the lyrics, it would seem so.
    Yep, it’s “Back-man” (actually probably “BACK-mun”) .. I think most of us Canadians use a slightly harder A sound (if that’s the word) than Americans. Like I – and most people I knew growing up – eat “PASS-ta” which seems to annoy “Pos-TA” loving Americans no end!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL…oh that is great. I love local dialects. I talk to a few people from New Zealand…and one in particular pops these words on his site I have to look up…like “sherrick”…

      I’ve always called Bachman “Bockman”…the “mun” makes sense…well know I know! I love the Pass-ta…I have to try that one! I love poking the bear.


  2. I didn’t know that about “Back-man,” I always pronounced it the other way…good to know. I would have liked to have seen that tour, but they didn’t roll through Odessa at that time, they’d gotten too big…I’m talking about Van Halen, of course. I’ve heard that BTO was always very good in concert as for the musicianship, the “sound,” but they lacked showmanship. I really like their greatest hits album. Hey You is one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know it either about how to pronouce it.
      That was odd of Van Halen to get someone famous…I’ve looked up a lot of their opening bands in the late seventies and early 80s…you had bands such as…The Fabulous Poodles, The Velcros, The Screams, T-Model…and the list goes on.

      BTO was a band around as I was growing up…I think they were considered “hard rock” at the time…or at least harder.

      Liked by 1 person

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