Saturday, November 9, 1974

BTO hit #1 with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Writer(s): Randy Bachman (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 21, 1974

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 14 GR, 11 HR, 13 RR, 1 CL, 2 UK, 13 CN, 4 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 44.52 video, 237.48 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Randy Bachman made his name as a member of the Guess Who, co-writing their #1 hit “American Woman.” He went on to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, who built a following and had a #12 hit with “Taking Care of Business.” When Charlie Fach, the A&R guy, listened to the band’s third album, Not Fragile, he liked it but didn’t hear a hit. The band played him “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and he said “that’s the track. It’s got a brightness to it.” WK

Bachman, however, saw it as an embarrassment. SG He wrote the song making fun of his brother, Gary, who had a stutter and was the band’s original manager. Randy thought, “just for fun, we’d take this song and I’d stutter and we’d send it to him. He’ll have the only copy in the world.” FB It was “the song that the band bangs out while procrastinating on doing their real work.” SG A “record company guy…heard about the gag recording, insisted on hearing it, insisted it be on the album, and later insisted it be released as a single.” PW

Randy initially resisted, but BTO tried to record a straight version, and it just didn’t work. SJ Randy eventually relented, saying, “Why am I stopping this? Some of my favorite records are really dumb things like ‘Louie Louie.’ So I said, ‘OK, release it.’” PW The stuttering version, with its “marvelously free, unselfconscious, loud crunching, right-on-the-money power chords” PW became “the biggest thing his band would ever make” SG and “the song that defines the band.” SG

Because of his religious beliefs, Bachman maintained strict rules about the band members staying away from drinking, drugs, and premarital sex on the road. SG The irony is that “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” is “about a guy who’s so overcome by having the best sex of his life that he basically loses his mind.” SG It became “one of the most giddily horny classic-rock anthems of the ‘70s.” SG

Billboard described the song as a “basic rocker featuring licks of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sweet Jane.’” WK Rock critic Dave Marsh called it “the ultimate Who pastiche.” DM Vocally, the stuttering is reminiscent of the Who’s “My Generation.” Bachman did acknowledge the song was made of “stitched-together parts” including the “surging rhythm guitar” of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” “the grand guitar melody” from Dave Mason’s “Only You Know and I Know,” the “bright, sparkly beat” from the Doobie Brothers’ “Listen to the Music,” and the heavy cowbell from Free’s “All Right Now.” SG


First posted 4/3/2022; last updated 4/29/2024.

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