NZ- LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CHORD

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You’re Gonna Get Hurt (A Farris) 1986 and You I Know (N Finn) 1987 and She Has to Be Loved (J Morris/A Farriss) and (A Beggar on the) Street of Love (P Kelly)- Jenny Morris 1989

Jenny Morris was born in Tokoroa New Zealand in 1956 and took her musical cues from Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, she had early success in NZ with the Wide-Mouthed Frogs (below left), and after her group the Crocodiles (below centre) took Tears into the top 20, she relocated to Sydney in 1981.

Morris initially found work as a member of session group QED (above right) who charted with Everywhere I Go at #19 in 1983, she also provided vocal backup for The Models, DD Smash (Dave Dobbyn), and INXS on their Swing album in 1983 and their Listen Like Thieves world tour in 1985-86.(Below Jenny with Michael Hutchence)

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You’re Gonna Get Hurt (#24 in ’86) was written and produced by INXS keyboardist Andrew Farriss, and was the first single lifted off her debut Body and Soul album, which featured a who’s who of Ausmusic rock royalty at the time – INXS (Gary Beers, Andrew Farris), Cold Chisel (Phil Small, Ian Moss), Eurogliders (Amanda Vincent), and several Kiwi mates – Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn, and Mark Williams.

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You’re Gonna Get Hurt saw a luminous Jenny Morris in full rock chick mode, take this uptempo song, complete with 80’s obligatory sax solo, into the charts, and a 1986 Countdown Award for Best Female Performance In A Video.

Jenny Morris down on the farm with INXS alumni, the Farriss brothers, Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly, great duetting with Andrew Farriss.

In 1987 the second single lifted off Body and Soul, was the title track, which was a Morris composition, that just scraped into the top sixty, but the third song off the album, the excellent Neil Finn composition You I Know, would take Morris into the to 20 for the first time when it charted at  #13.

Mark Moffatt produced the session and the song remains a “secret” Neil Finn gem, a piano intro leads into synth-inflected drums and guitar, Morris delivers assured vocals, and brass flourishes feature at the bridge, the lyrics are assertive and almost defiant, coming from a male composer, as they take a feminist position “Some men have muscles/ They are muscle bound and on display/ Some men have money/ And a few of them, think they can own me.”

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Ricky Fataar (guitar/drums), Ian Belton (bass) and Euroglider Amanda Vincent (keyboards) played in the session and Fataar also assisted on the production side.

Simply lit, rotating camera, an office chair – sexy, and tasteful.

The Body and Soul album hit #13 and sold over 80,000 copies, but her next album, Shiver, released in 1989, on which Morris would co-write ten of the eleven songs would become her first top five hit, and sell over 225,000 copies.

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The second single lifted off this album was the funky feminist anthem She Has to Be Loved, written by Morris and INXS keyboardist Andrew Farriss who also produced the session, unsurprisingly it could have easily been an INXS recording with Hutchence out front, with slightly adapted lyrics. The song intros with synth-inflected drums and organ, ultimately revealing itself to be quite an inventive production with a Latin beat, African drums, Morris on maraccas and acoustic guitar. The monochrome promo video has a retro feel, a couple dancing, simple lyrics and a catchy sing-a-long chorus, the song became a live performance favourite and charted at #5 nationally and in NZ.

Bass-heavy backing was perfect.

 (A Beggar On The) Street of Love was the third single lifted off the album and it was a Paul Kelly song which he had encouraged Jenny to record. Kelly’s vocals have always been an unusual combination of talking and singing, and he has been quite deliberate about finding other voices to interpret his songs, where it would enhance a recording. Jenny Morris was an early example of this collaborative process with Kelly, and others would similarly enrich his songs – Renee Geyer (A Difficult Woman), Christine Anu (Last Train), Wendy Matthews (Take Your Time), Deborah Conway (Everybody Wants to Touch Me), and Kasey Chambers (When We’re Both Old and Mad). Street of Love blended subtle acoustic strumming and percussion with sinuous keyboard inserts and Paul Kelly’s evocative lyrics, the video clip depicted scenes of domestic dispute, young lovers, and the keening vocals of Morris, it deserved to chart higher than #58. Jenny received consecutive ARIA Awards for Best Female Artist in 1987 and ’88, for the single You’re Gonna Get Hurt and the album Body and Soul, and she was at this time the pre-eminent local female performer in the country.  

Perfect combination – Paul Kelly’s words and music and Jenny Morris’s nuanced vocals.

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