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

Bachman Turner Overdrive – Let It Ride

Canadian Bachman Turner Overdrive was one of those bands in the early to mid seventies that just kept pumping out hits.

Randy Bachman and Fred Turner of Bachman-Turner Overdrive got the idea for this song when they were driving to a gig in New Orleans.

They were driving on a highway when a few truckers decided to have some fun with the musicians, who were riding in the little van from Canada. The truckers boxed them in and slowed down to a crawl. When they finally turned into a truck stop, Randy and Fred followed them with the intent of giving them a good talking to…but when they met up with the trucker Randy said “The trucker looked like a Volkswagen with a head.” The truckers had a good laugh and told the band that they needed to learn to “Let it ride.”

Bachman and Turner had never heard that expression before, but they liked the sound of it: it meant to just relax and not let things upset you. When they got to New Orleans, they wrote the song in their dressing room.

The song was on their album Bachman–Turner Overdrive II released in 1973. The album peaked at #6 in Canada and #3 in the Billboard Album Chart.

The song peaked at #2 in Canada and #23 in the Billboard 100.

Songfacts

The distinctive guitar riff in this song is something Randy Bachman came up with after listening to a classical piece by Antonin Dvorak called “Piano Concerto in D.” He transposed a chord progression he heard in the piece to guitar, which sounded great.

Bachman believes that pretty much any piece of modern music is based on something that came before. When we spoke with him in 2014, he said: “You’ve got to get them, reshape them, and hopefully they are reshaped enough that you can call it original.”

All of the background vocals were sung by Fred Turner, which caused a flanging effect that Randy Bachman liked. 

Does this song’s intro sound similar to that of “Long Train Runnin'” by the Doobie Brothers? Randy Bachman thinks so. He says that the Doobie Brothers were sharing a dressing room with him and Fred Turner the night they came up with “Let It Ride,” and the Doobies nicked the riff for their song.

Let It Ride

Good bye, hard life
Don’t cry would you let it ride?
Good bye, hard life
Don’t cry would you let it ride?

You can’t see the mornin’, but I can see the light
Try, try, try let it ride
While you’ve been out runnin’ I’ve been waitin’ half the night
Try, try, try let it ride

And would you cry if I told you that I lied and would you say goodbye or
Would you let it ride?
And would you cry if I told you that I lied
And would you say goodbye or would you let it ride?

Seems my life is not complete I never see you smile
Try, try, try let it ride
Baby you want the forgivin’ kind and that’s just not my style
Try, try, try let it ride

And would you cry if I told you that I lied and would you say goodbye or
Would you let it ride?
And would you cry if I told you that I lied
And would you say goodbye or would you let it ride?

I’ve been doin’ things worthwhile, you’ve been bookin’ time
Try, try, try let it ride

And would you cry if I told you that I lied and would you say goodbye or
Would you let it ride?
And would you cry if I told you that I lied
And would you say goodbye or would you let it ride?

Would you let it ride
Would you let it ride
Would you let it ride
Would you let it ride

Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride

Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride
Try, try, try let it ride

Try, try, try let it ride
Would you let it ride?
Would you let it ride?
Would you let it ride?
Would you let it ride?

Bachman Turner Overdrive – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

I always liked the rhythm of this song and the stuttering vocal.

Bachman wasn’t planning to release the song with the stuttering vocal. He sang it with the stutter to poke fun at his brother Gary, who had a speech impediment. During microphone checks, he would sing it with the stutter and recorded a version that was intended just for Gary. His record company liked it a lot better than the non-stuttering version, so that’s the one they released. Eventually, Gary stopped stuttering.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #2 in the UK in 1974.

Randy Bachman:  “I was rehearsing and producing BTO’s third album. We needed an FM Top 40 hit, something light with a heavy bit in it. At that time, I was inspired by Traffic’s Dave Mason and his song Only You Know And I Know, which had a dang-a-lang rhythm, and the Doobie Brothers’ Listen To The Music. So I copped those jangling rhythms, changed the chords and then added some power chords of my own. I had a work in progress, in two parts: a great rhythm and a heavy riff.”

“I thought it was embarrassing, but it went to No.1 in the States and 2. other countries. I was dumbfounded. Particularly because as soon it became a hit my brother stopped stammering.”

 

From Songfacts

This is one of the most famous songs with prominent stutter, as Randy Bachman sings, “B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet.”

The lyrics, especially “She took me to her doctor and he told me of a cure,” led to rumors that the song was about herpes or some other social disease. According to Bachman, the lyrics are just words he improvised, as he didn’t thing the song was going to be released and was just using it to test levels in the studio.

Randy Bachman produced the Not Fragile album and used this song to test dynamics in the studio, since the guitars would go from quiet to loud.

When the band recorded it, they didn’t think it would be released, so they didn’t bother perfecting it – or even tuning their instruments. Bachman’s vocal was considered a scratch track. This became Bachman’s “work song” for testing.

The band only played it for their label after the boss at Mercury, Charlie Fach, heard the eight songs they completed and didn’t hear a hit. The engineer suggested playing him the “work song,” and Bachman reluctantly agreed.

When Fach heard the song, he loved it, warts and all. In a Songfacts interview with Bachman, he explained: “Charlie said, ‘I want to put this on the album.’ And I said, ‘I need to remix it.’ And he said, ‘Don’t touch it. Put it on the way it is. When you play this with the other songs, it just jumps off the turntable.'”

The title is grammatically incorrect. It is a double-negative, although “You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet” wouldn’t have the same ring to it.

This song came about when the band was playing a jam session in the key of “A.” “Takin’ Care Of Business” also came out of a jam session, but that one was in the key of “C.”

Randy Bachman wrote this song and sang lead. He and his bandmate Fred Turner split vocal duties in the band.

Bachman’s inspiration for the intro/verse melody was Dave Mason’s “Only You Know and I Know.”

Stephen King referenced “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” in the short story “Big Driver” from his 2010 collection, Full Dark, No Stars, when the protagonist hears the tune blasting from a car. King has another connection to the band. Early in his career, his publisher only allowed him to release one book a year, so he bypassed the rule by coming up with a pen name: Richard Bachman, inspired by the Richard Stark novel on his desk and the Bachman-Turner Overdrive album in his record player.

This was used in these TV shows:

My Name Is Earl (“Darnell Outed: Part 1” – 2009)
Supernatural (“The Magnificent Seven” – 2007)
Cold Case (“Yo, Adrian” – 2005)
The Sopranos (“Watching Too Much Television” – 2002)
The Simpsons (“Saddlesore Galactica” – 2000)

And in these movies:

The Watch (2012)
It’s A Boy Girl Thing (2006)
The Ex (2006)
Joe Dirt (2001)
Pushing Tin (1999)

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

I met a devil woman
She took my heart away
She said, I’ve had it comin’ to me
But I wanted it that way
I think that any love is good lovin’
So I took what I could get, mmh
Oooh, oooh she looked at me with big brown eyes

And said,
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
Here’s something that you never gonna forget
B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet

Nothin’ yet, you ain’t been around
That’s what they told me

And now I’m feelin’ better
‘Cause I found out for sure
She took me to her doctor
And he told me of a cure
He said that any love is good love
So I took what I could get
Yes, I took what I could get
And then she looked at me with them big brown eyes

And said,
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
Here’s something, here’s something your never gonna forget, baby
You know, you know, you know you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet

You need educatin’
You got to got to school

Any love is good lovin’
So I took what I could get
Yes, I took what I could get
And then, and then, and then
She looked at me with them big brown eyes

And said,
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
Baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
Here’s something, here’s something
Here’s something that your never gonna forget, baby
Baby, baby, baby you ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
You ain’t been around
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
That’s what she told me
She said, I needed educatin’, go to school
I know I ain’t seen nothin’ yet
I know I ain’t seen nothin’ yet
Got something for you right now
Feels good, alright, how do you do that?
But I ain’t seen nothin’ yet
I deserve it one of these days
Woohoo, but I ain’t seen nothin’ yet
Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeah
I ain’t seen nothin’ yet
I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait
If you want to show me what I ain’t seen, where I ain’t been
Lalalalalala