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

Jackie De Shannon: She Don't Understand Him Like I Do (1964)

Jackie De Shannon: She Don't Understand Him Like I Do (1964)

Jackie De Shannon (born Sharon Lee Myers) had great hits and an even better life: As a teenager in Illinois she recorded and wrote a few songs; Eddie Cochran heard a couple of her country tunes and... > Read more

Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

Fortunately for Johnny Cash he didn't die around the time he hit rock bottom in the mid Eighties. If he'd gone then -- before his career resurrection through the American Recordings and the Walk... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

The history of music is the history of revolution. Sometimes the change is technological – the invention of the piano caused a massive upheaval in the way people wrote and played music... > Read more

Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers: Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (1971)

Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers: Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (1971)

Although the blues can be a sophisticated music, there's something more earthy, vibrant and appealing about it when it is played from somewhere further south than the cerebral cortext. Hound... > Read more