Man Of Straw is a 12 track retrospective of the best recordings by The Bogarts which features songs from the band's three year lifespan. The album highlights the emphasis the group placed on catchy tunes, strong hooks and intelligent lyrics (sometimes marrying the romantic and political) throughout their career. Among the earliest recordings are straight out rocker Girl In A Car and Falling For You which alludes to Humphrey Bogart with lines like: "Here's looking at you, I do all the time/cause of all the hearts in the world, you had to walk into mine". The band's next recording session yielded pop rocker The Girl That Got Away and a love song with a political edge Things Are Tough All Over that could just as easily apply today as to the day it was written - check out the first line: "20,000 people lost their jobs yesterday, I didn't hear anybody complaining".
By the time The Bogarts went into the studio for their third recording session, the group had added keyboards (Liz Norden) and female vocals (Maria Gallagher) to the mix. The session yielded rock/soul gem Man Of Straw, Everybody's Got To Fall In Love and the poppy That's What All The Girls Say (with Maria on lead vocals) featuring a terrific piano intro by Liz. It wasn't long before the band were recording again in a session which produced the haunting Tonight (with a great guitar solo from Guy and fantastic string arrangement by Liz) and She's Gone, built around an insistent bass riff from Ed. The band's last recording session in 1995 featured a new keyboard player (David Longworth). Probably the best recorded of all their sessions (thanks to producer Kieron Hunter), the highlight was Long Way Round My Life (probably one of the band's best songs) - "I took the long way round my life to find you". Syncopated pop rocker Is This Love? and I Feel Such Joy (featuring Maria on lead vocals) also emerged from the session.
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