Definitions

takin

takin

[tah-kin, -keen]
takin, hoofed mammal, Budorcas toxicolor, found in Asia, most closely related to the musk ox. The takin is oxlike in build and may reach a shoulder height of 31/2 ft (107 cm). It has a large head with a broad blunt muzzle; both sexes have high-set, outward-curving horns. Takins are found in the wooded mountains and valleys of W China and in the Himalayas. Although ungainly in their movements they are agile climbers. Powerful animals, they are especially fierce when cornered or wounded. They feed on a wide variety of plant life. Members of the western race are dull yellow-brown in color, but members of the races found in China are bright yellow with areas of black. The golden takin of Shaanxi prov. is a metallic gold with black hindparts. Takins are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

"Takin' Care of Business" is a song written by Randy Bachman and first recorded by Canadian rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) for their 1973 album Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. In 1990 a movie with the title Taking Care of Business (known in some parts of the world as "Filofax") starring Jim Belushi used the song in its soundtrack.

Development

Randy Bachman had written what would later become "Takin' Care of Business" while still a member of The Guess Who. His original idea was to write about a recording technician who worked on The Guess Who's recordings. This particular technician would take the 8:15 train to get to work, inspiring the lyrics "catch the 8:15 to the city." The standard uniform worn by technicians at the studio was a white collared shirt, which gave Randy the name "White Collar Worker."

The first guitar riff Randy had arranged for the song was blatantly that of The Beatles' "Paperback Writer." When Randy first played this for Burton Cummings, Burton declared that he was ashamed of him and that The Guess Who would never record the song.

Sometime during the supporting concerts for BTO's first album, Randy was in Vancouver, BC driving and listening to CFOX on the radio when he heard a particular DJ's catch phrase "We're takin' care of business." As fate would have it, lead vocalist Fred Turner's voice gave out before the band's last set that night. Randy sang some cover songs to get through the last set, but none were having any effect on the audience. On a whim, he told the band to play the C, B-flat and F chords (a I-VII-IV progression) over and over, and he essentially sang "White Collar Worker" with the new words "Takin' Care of Business" inserted to the chorus.

After this, he rewrote the lyrics to "White Collar Worker" with a new chorus and the title "Takin' Care of Business." Along with this he wrote a revised guitar riff, which was the I-VII-IV progression played with a shuffle. (Though the I-VII-IV progression is quite common, the riff became famous and instantly recognizable.) The song was recorded by Bachman-Turner Overdrive for their second album Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. It would reach #12 on the Billboard singles charts and arguably become B.T.O.'s most well known song.

The song also features a prominent piano, played by Norman Durkee. Some accounts stated a pizza delivery guy was in the studio, heard the song and offered to add a piano riff to it. BTO drummer Robbie Bachman set the record straight in a 2002 interview. The guy who poked his head into the studio while the playbacks of "Takin' Care of Business" were running was actually Durkee, an accomplished musician and musical director for Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. Durkee said, "that needs a piano...a real boogie-woogie piano would sound cool," and he left. The band tracked him down in another studio, Durkee scribbled the chords down on a pizza box, and recorded the piano part in one take.

Endurance of the song

During his Every Song Tells a Story concert, which was recorded and released on DVD and VHS, Randy tells the story of how he came up with this song.

The song has been used as an advertising campaign for companies such as Office Depot, whose business target consists largely of small business owners. The song was also used for many years in advertisements for Officeworks, an Australian chain of office supply stores which bear much similarity to the US Office Depot stores. In New Zealand, mobile operator Vodafone has used the song in a series of advertisements for their business-oriented mobile plans. Many have noticed the irony of this, as the song focuses on being lazy; the lyrics refer to an unemployed musician who "love[s] to work at nothing all day," and tongue-in-check calling it "taking care of business."

The song has been used in a number of movies including the James Belushi/Charles Grodin movie of the same title and A Knight's Tale.

In 2004, Bachman rewrote the song into a Christmas version titled "Takin' Care of Christmas," which was released on a Holiday CD of the same title.

In addition, Randy Bachman of BTO uses the opening section of the song as the theme music of his CBC Radio One show, Vinyl Tap.

In his television show The Tom Green Subway Monkey Hour, Tom Green sings the song dressed as Elvis Presley whilst visiting Japan.

During the NASA space shuttle mission STS-115, the song was played at the start of day 5 for Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean.

The song played in several episodes of Australian soap Opera Neighbours between 2003 and 2006. The most recent use was in a scene where Robert Robinson lured his father, Paul into a mineshaft.

The song was used in the popular Australian Film 'Kenny' as the main theme song.

Among the many teams to use the song during sporting events, the New York Mets have played the song after victories during the 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons. Their division rival Atlanta Braves used the song during their run of 14 consecutive division titles.

The opening riffs and melody to the song bears similarity to David Bowie's 1973 song Watch That Man from the Aladdin Sane album. No links between the artists or songs have been as of yet identified.

The song is unlockable in the video game Karaoke Revolution Party.

In some areas of the Midwest, including the Saginaw Valley and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the song has inspired a popular dance known as "The Alligator," which involves a lot of clapping and rolling on the floor.

References

External Uses Currently being used in OfficeWorks commercial.

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