Long out of print and now reissued for the first time on CD by the folks at Lemon Recordings/Cherry Red Records, B.T.O. LIve-Japan Tour was the only ever official live release from those mighty Canadians Bachman-Turner Overdrive, better known by many as B.T.O.. Documenting their 1976 tour of Japan (just a short time before acts like Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick made it commonplace to record live albums there), this spectacular, but short, live album shows just how powerful a live act the band were at this time. Ironically, B.T.O. LIve-Japan Tour was only released in Canada and Japan at the time, which is surprising seeing as how popular the band were here in the US.
As a representative live B.T.O. album goes, this one falls way short due to the very limited song selection. My guess is that the entire show is floating around there somewhere, or locked in some record label executives vaults, which is a shame because the 8 songs on display here are fiery and heavy rocking B.T.O. at their best. Classics like "Roll On Down the Highway", "Hold Back the Water", and "Takin' Care of Business" feature all the trademark heavy riffs and catchy hooks that the band were famous for, and "Welcome Home", "Four Wheel Drive", and "Don't Get Yourself in Trouble" are as heavy as any band going back in 1976. As good as these live versions are, "Slow Down Boogie" and "Thank You-Domo" are kind of throwaways, and I would have rather they included "Let It Ride" or "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (the booklet incorrectly states that the original LP omitted that monster hit but that it is included here on the CD-it isn't folks) or any number of their excellent albums tracks instead, but as a 42 minute live album, it does rock, and rock hard.
If you've longed for an official B.T.O. live album from their heyday, this is it. The sound is pretty damn good, and there's a cool booklet with live photos and an essay. You'll wish there were more songs, but we can't have everything I guess.
1) Roll On Down the Highway
2) Hold Back the Water
3) Welcome Home
4) Don't Get Yourself in Trouble
5) Four-Wheel Drive
6) Takin' Care of Business
7) Slow Down Boogie
8) Thank You-Domo