lördag 30 april 2016

Bachman–Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile (Canada 1974)

250:- (SHM-CD Limited Remaster Edition. Kanske deras bästa album.)

Not Fragile is the third album by Canadian rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO), released in 1974.

The album title Not Fragile could be thought of as a response to the title of the 1971 Yes album Fragile. In a 1995 interview, Randy Bachman indicated that he thought that using the word "fragile" as a title for a rock album was "strange." He thought that BTO music could be "dropped and kicked" without breaking, so, without intending any commentary about Yes, the band "tongue-in-cheek" called their next album Not Fragile.

The album marks the debut of guitarist Blair Thornton, who, unlike his predecessor Tim Bachman, is billed on the album liner notes as "second lead guitar". Blair's dual-guitar solos with Randy Bachman are prominent features on many Not Fragile tracks. It proved to be the group's most popular album (not counting compilations), and is the only BTO album to have reached #1 on the US Pop Album charts. "Roll On Down the Highway" and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" were hit singles, with the latter hitting #1 on the singles charts in November 1974. Other cuts had significant airplay on FM rock radio.

After gaining some recognition from the success of the band's previous album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive got around to recording Not Fragile. Not only had one of the three Bachman brothers (Tim, the rhythm guitarist) left the band to BTO's advantage, but Randy Bachman and C.F. Turner had clearly grown musically. To the album's benefit, most of the material on Not Fragile are the band's much-liked rock anthems, ranging from the hyper-distorted title track, through the famous but far more timid song "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." Indeed, for hard rock fanatics, it doesn't come much better than on Not Fragile. Randy's electrifying lead guitar is here more raucous than ever before, as are his rowdy vocals (particularly noticeable on the predictable, but fun "Sledgehammer"). 

The man steals the show on Not Fragile through his extensive and often astounding guitar solos. Generally, though, Bachman-Turner Overdrive are at their prime as a whole, both in songwriting and playing terms. As regards the mixing, it's hard to find fault with this release. The drums are clear but not so prominent that they dominate the recording, while the guitars, along with the bass, are kept rigidly in their place. Not Fragile is one of the finest arena rock albums of the era, featuring all the hallmarks of what makes a classic release in the genre. Randy's impressive guitar work and typically boisterous vocals complement the overall framework of the album superbly, as do the crunchy rhythm guitars. This release will astound fans of the genre and band, while those thoroughly against stadium rock may find something to convert their views

01. "Not Fragile" (Turner) – 4:06 (lead vocals: Turner)
02. "Rock Is My Life, and This Is My Song" (Randy Bachman) – 5:00 (lead vocals: Randy Bachman)
03. "Roll On Down the Highway" (Turner, Rob Bachman) – 3:58 (lead vocals: Turner)
04. "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (Randy Bachman) – 3:54 (lead vocals: Randy Bachman)
05. "Free Wheelin'" (Thornton) – 3:45 (instrumental; early pressings of the album listed this track as "Dedicated to Duane")
06. "Sledgehammer" (Randy Bachman) – 4:34 (lead vocals: Randy Bachman and Turner)
07. "Blue Moanin'" (Turner) – 3:44 (lead vocals: Turner)
08. "Second Hand" (Randy Bachman) – 3:24 (lead vocals: Randy Bachman)
09. "Givin' It All Away" (Thornton) – 3:49 (lead vocals: Randy Bachman and Turner)