Let’s face it, Smashie and Nicey destroyed this band’s reputation by adopting ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ as their theme song. That song is here, in all its twee poppiness, destroying all hope of any retro-hip rehabilitation for BTO in the new century, but it can’t disguise the fact that this is an album of relentless power and energy. The global hit single is the exception, not the rule.
CF Turner’s roaring vocal more than offsets Randy Bachman’s thin voice (as heard on YASNY), and the ‘no-frills’ approach pays real dividends throughout. Don’t expect anything but hard, straight, uncompromising rock music, complete with beards and lumberjack shirts. It is, after all, what this band was good at. BTO will do nothing for your street-cred, but they will provide you with a great night in on this album (with the curtains bashfully drawn).
Not Fragile is an album of thunderous, boogie-rock, crisply executed with a foretaste of later ZZ Top, only heavier, and reminiscent of an era when rock could be heavy without being metal. For once, the cover is a reflection of the contents.
If this review reads like an unrealistic eulogy for a band that epitomises 1970s rock badness, let it not be forgotten that most of BTO’s other output truly is trash (except the first album). This is the one worth having. So why not start your hip replacement therapy by buying a copy from those good people at Amazon? There’s a button to click somewhere on this page…