No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
(BGO Records)


Back in the ‘60s, Billboard, Cashbox and Record World were flooded with amazing new releases each week. You were only as cool as your single back then but another art form, and even TV commercial made music history back then. Commercials used amazingly catchy studio tracks to sell everything from cigarettes to cars to...even antacids! One such lucky break occurred when L.A. rock instrumental promoter and studio hustler Joe Saraceno saw a TV commercial for Alka Seltzer of all things. He revamped the track and renamed it “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” and struck gold on the pop charts. One of the few rock instrumentals to break the Top 5 on Billboard, “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” is also the title of a 2009, 24 track 2 on 1 CD reissue of The T-Bones on England’s famous BGO label. The liner notes go on at length about how Saraceno gave The Beach Boys their name and his overall vast experience in the music business. Having worked with Phil Spector’s people as well as the entire wrecking crew, Saraceno eventually put together a real T-Bones band with long time Ventures associate Judd Hamilton and his brother Dan Hamilton on guitar. Under Saraceno’s expert studio vision, two T-Bones albums were cut in 1966 featuring “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” and a host of cuts and covers of tracks like “Lies,” “Time Won’t Let Me,” “Satisfaction” and more. BGO packs their 24 track rock instrumental classic by The T-Bones with an in depth 12 page booklet. Clearly, with their ongoing devotion to the CD format, BGO continues on among the premier reissue labels in the U.K. today. The label’s 2009 CD reissues includes a double CD set from folk-rocker Melanie. Disc one of The Four Sides Of Melanie features a number of Melanie classics like “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain,”) “Beautiful People” while the second CD features a number of Melanie covers like “Ruby Tuesday” and “Carolina On My Mind.” Originally released as a compilation of sorts by Buddah Records, back in 1972, the set is reproduced as a double CD by BGO complete with liner notes and photos. Another 2009 BGO double set worth hearing is a double from legendary U.K. 70’s rockers Family. Pairing Bandstand (1972) with It’s Only A Movie (1973), BGO’s Family double CD set gives a good overview of one of the key bands who helped pioneer the art-rock and hard rock worlds in U.K. music. Both albums feature a brace of original by vocalist Roger Chapman and guitarist John “Charlie” Whitney. Remastering in 2009, BGO adorns their latest Family double CD set with bonus live tracks, unreleased rarities and a detailed booklet with historic notes and complete lyrics. One of the great American folk-rock poets and the genius behind classics like “Reason To Believe” and “If I Were A Carpetner,” Tim Hardin may have passed away in December 1980 but his spirit lives on in the grooves of BGO’s 2008 reissue of Painted Head. Produced by the late, great Shadows drummer Tony Meehan (for Leiber-Stoller Productions no less), Painted Head finds Hardin the company of top players such as drummer Meehan and guitarist Peter Frampton and Cat Stevens guitarist Alun Davies. Although Painted Bird features no Hardin originals, highlights include Hardin’s two Pete Ham Badfinger covers, along with other covers of Randy Newman and Jesse Winchester. 2007 liner notes by John Tobler fill in some missing pieces behind Hardin’s tragic end. Although the catalog of BGO is rife with one classic reissue after the next, one title worth taking another look at is the label's 1999 reissue of The Mamas & The Papas. Pairing The Mamas & The Papas Deliver (from 1967) with the humorously titled The Papas & The Mamas (from 1968), BGO packs their 25 cut, 2 albums on 1 CD with excellent liner notes from John Tobler and there’s even a bonus cut. Recorded following the enormous success of “California Dreamin” and “Monday, Monday,” both Deliver and the Papas & The Mamas display the genius of group founder / guitarist John Phillips for crafting incredible singles and shaping those genius harmonies. Also worth revisiting is lead vocal work of the late, great Mama Cass Elliot. Both were essential to the formation of '60s pop. Produced by record label genius Lou Adler, both Deliver and the Papas & The Mamas feature the quartet backed up by the best L.A. session players of the era including guitarist P.F. Sloan and drummers Hal Blaine and Larry Knechtel. Keep your eyes on BGO as they unveil more essential reissues of classic U.K. and U.S. rock icons.


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