(Photo credit: Christie Goodwin)
Born in Winnipeg, Randy Bachman has become a legendary figure in the rock and roll world through his talents as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer. He has earned over 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing. His song writing has garnered him the coveted #1 spot on radio playlists in over 20 countries and he has amassed over 40 million records sold. His songs have been recorded by numerous other artists and placed in dozens of television, movie and commercial soundtracks.
He first scored Billboard radio chart success with his band The Guess Who in 1965, with the song “Shakin' All Over”. After this initial success, it would be another few years before the glare of the spotlight would be cast upon these young Canadian boys again. Sticking it out through some misadventures paid off for the band and they worked their way back up to the top of the charts in a spectacular way. This time, The Guess Who went on to virtually own the pop charts with an unprecedented run of 5 million-selling singles, all the product of the gold plated Randy Bachman-Burton Cummings song writing team. By 1970, The Guess Who had sold more records than the entire Canadian recording industry to that point, even outselling the Beatles that year. Their hits included “These Eyes”, “Laughing”, “Undun”, “No Time”, “No Sugar Tonight” and “American Woman.”
Due to health concerns and a lingering desire to change his lifestyle, Randy left the Guess Who at the height of their success. While this move stunned the music world, Randy knew that he could never leave music behind. In 1970, he formed country rock outfit Brave Belt, and experimented with a new musical style and lineup that eventually metamorphosized into Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Unbelievably, Randy's success with Bachman-Turner Overdrive would eclipse his earlier triumphs and give him yet a third run at the pop music charts. Monstrous hits for the band included “Let it Ride”, “Roll on Down the Highway”, “Takin' Care of Business”, “Hey You”, “Looking Out for #1”, “Four Wheel Drive” and “You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet”, which reached #1 in over 20 countries. Randy's career has been built upon his unstoppable drive to work at creating music. He has released numerous solo albums throughout his career, and has simultaneously worked at producing for other artists. His production/writing work with Canadian rock band Trooper generated gold and platinum records in the 1970s.
In 2005, following the phenomenal success of the much-heralded four-year Guess Who reunion, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings decided that the time was right to finally go out under their own names. Together as Bachman-Cummings, they starred and performed in the top-rated television concert special First Time Around, which aired throughout North America on CBC and PBS. Following its success, a DVD of the program was released, in addition to their platinum-selling album Songbook and Jukebox. The critically-acclaimed pair toured extensively throughout North America, including two coast-to-coast Canadian tours that drew in sold-out audiences.
Known for his unwavering passion to create music, Randy Bachman started to work on a solo album, featuring collaborations with friends Neil Young, Burton Cummings, the late Jeff Healey and Fred Turner.
The creative process took an unexpected turn: after many years of gentle prodding by music fans and industry aficionados, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner started working together again. After being apart for over 20 years, Bachman & Turner was born; the men at the heart of legendary band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive were back as a full-throttle rock machine. Their studio album, which was released globaly in 2010, was stocked with great new tracks that seamlessly fit among their classic rock anthems. Bachman & Turner kicked off their world debut in Europe at Sweden Rock Festival and High Voltage Festival alongside some their contemporaries, including Aerosmith, Guns n’ Roses, ZZ Top, Styx and Alice Cooper.
In between their cross-Atlantic jaunts, Bachman & Turner met up with special guest Paul Shaffer to tape an electric performance – shot in HD and 3D - at a legendary New York City music venue. The live concert special aired on PBS and HDNet in spring 2012. The DVD, titled Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC, was certified gold by Music Canada only three weeks after its September 13, 2011 release.
Randy Bachman’s love of guitar music and a desire to support some unsung and legendary guitar greats, including his early mentor Lenny Breau, led him to found the jazz guitar record label Guitarchives Music, which rescues and releases otherwise lost archival guitar music. He also founded Ranbach Music, a label which releases archival Guess Who recordings and other material which never made it to CD.
His songs have been recorded by a diverse selection of artists, including Lenny Kravitz's performance of “American Woman”, and featured in television and movie soundtracks. He has been animated on The Simpsons, and sat in and performed with The Late Show with David Letterman band.
Noted for his contributions as an iconic Canadian rock musician and for his support of emerging artists as a producer, Randy Bachman has received many awards, including the Order of Canada, which is Canada’s highest civilian honour for lifetime achievement. He continues to be in much demand as a songwriter, session player and solo artist. Even with an extensive collection of music industry awards, accolades and achievements, when asked which award is his most prized, he responded, "The one I haven't got yet."
In 2005, Bachman established himself as an engaging radio personality. Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap on CBC and Sirius satellite radio is heard by millions worldwide each week. In addition to being one of CBC Radio’s top-rated weekend program, the two-hour show won the silver medal at the International Radio Conference in New York, in 2009.
In 2012, Randy Bachman achieved something that he never planned: he became a national bestselling author with a top-ten book. Inspired by his radio show, Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories brought his unique voice to print for the very first time.
He has played an integral role in the evolution and growth of the Canadian music industry and continues to serve as both an inspiration and impetus for others to succeed.