Renee Geyer: You Broke a Beautiful Thing (1999)

 |   |  <1 min read

Renee Geyer: You Broke a Beautiful Thing (1999)

Lord knows some artists can be "difficult" -- and many of those who have tried to interview Australian Renee Geyer (never my doubtful pleasure) have returned chastened, frustrated and sometimes downright angry.

It was hardly surprising then when Paul Kelly produced an album for her entitled Difficult Woman in '94. Her 2000 autobiography was Confessions of a Difficult Woman.

Geyer is one of those people who doesn't suffer fools gladly -- but by many accounts appears to think most people are fools, especially journalists.

Still, we don't ask artists to be polite, just to do great work -- and over many decades Geyer has certainly done that. Widely regarded as Australia's finest jazz-soul-cum-blues singer, she has delivered a remarkable body of work since the mid Seventies.

Her interpretative gifts are evident in this exceptional treatment of a Paul Kelly song. Kelly has frequently and sympathetically written from a woman's perspetive and here he outdoes hiimself in a lyric which lends itself to anger, hurt, condemnation, sympathy and regret.

The man has betrayed the love she was giving, the woman feels that hurt in every part of her soul -- and, past anger, is simply shaking her head in sadness.

Geyer gets behind every syllable of the song and creates a soul classic which -- if you are man who has ever done such a thing -- will have you weeping and wondering about yourself.

Extraordinary. 

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

mark - Jun 21, 2010

A great artist who has had (as many of them have) an interesting life. I interviewed Greg Tell recently. Greg was Renee's drummer for some years and at the moment is living here in Auckland.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Barry McGuire: California Dreamin' (1965)

Barry McGuire: California Dreamin' (1965)

After his growling and apocalyptic version of PF Sloan's Eve of Destruction in '65 the former folkie Barry McGuire -- who had been in the New Christy Minstrels and had co-written their big hit... > Read more

Ma Rainey: Toad Frog Blues (1924)

Ma Rainey: Toad Frog Blues (1924)

Few would have described Ma Rainey (1886 - 1939) as one of God's finest creations. Her pianist Thomas A. Dorsey said charitably "I couldn't say that she was a good looking woman". In... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

From this distance, British hip-hop comes down to a few big names: the Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Skinnyman. It takes keen interest -- or a look at the nominees for the highly regarded Mercury... > Read more

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

The divorce was as messy as most when, 40 years ago in April 1970, the Beatles broke up. As John Lennon put it later that year on his Plastic Ono Band album, “the dream is over”.... > Read more