http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c3012d928f4b722fcd2756aba6129d63a0a4dcb6.jpg Street Action

Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Street Action

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June 1, 1978

Hey all you gobblers with quadruple platinum albums
Profits goin' right up your nose
I know what you're gettin', gobblers
Nasal pharyngeal carcinoma
(Chorus) Nasal, oh nasal, pharyngeal carcinoma
Doctors cut off your nose
And pull tumors right outta your sinuses
But I don't need a Kleenex
To know which way my nostrils blow
Hey all you gobblers with needles in your arms
Didn't think you'd need the big H
But now you got a bole in your face
You just don't wanna think about that
Nasal, oh nasal, pharyngeal carcinoma....
Hey all you gobblers with time at the top
I ain't there now but I bought alla General Motors stock
Me an' the Osmonds can be hip an' moral
Cause God gave all you gobblers
Nasal, oh nasal, pharyngeal carcinoma

Randy Bachman didn't write the above. I did. He wrote Survivor, which is inane. It is a concept album about the trials of stardom that treats familiar subject matter with clichés. Too bad, because if he had been able to explore the seamier aspects of rock & roll with his Mormon eye — something unique he has to offer the world — at least I would have been interested in hearing what he had to say.

I am pained to say this because Bachman has been responsible for some excellent music in the past. His record company sent two old LPs — The Best of the Guess Who and Best of B.T.O.(So Far) — along with the new one to prove it. But listening to tunes like the Guess Who's "No Time" and "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature" and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" and "Let It Ride" only makes Survivor look bad in comparison. The song that comes closest to rock & roll here, "Lost in the Shuffle," cops a riff (with a new amp setting) from the end of "More than a Feeling," which Boston copped from the James Gang. One wonders if Bachman has lost his ear.

B.T.O., the remnants of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (minus Randy Bachman and plus Jim Clench), rocks a bit faster but without much passion. C.F. Turner suffers from Bachman's ailment of being unable to sing a cliché with enough conviction to make you forget it's a cliché. Both of them should mix their voices down in the future.

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