Randy Bachman produced the Not Fragile
album and used this song to test dynamics in the studio, since the guitars would go from quiet to loud.
When the band recorded it, they didn't think it would be released, so they didn't bother perfecting it - or even tuning their instruments. Bachman's vocal was considered a scratch track. This became Bachman's "work song" for testing.
The band only played it for their label after the boss at Mercury, Charlie Fach, heard the eight songs they completed and didn't hear a hit. The engineer suggested playing him the "work song," and Bachman reluctantly agreed.
When Fach heard the song, he loved it, warts and all. In a Songfacts interview with Bachman
, he explained: "Charlie said, 'I want to put this on the album.' And I said, 'I need to remix it.' And he said, 'Don't touch it. Put it on the way it is. When you play this with the other songs, it just jumps off the turntable.'"