NZ- LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CHORD

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Break in The Weather (J Morris/T Morris) – Jenny Morris 1991

Singer/songwriter Jenny Morris had not had a hit single for nearly two years following the success of She Has To Be Loved, despite being the support act on national tours with Prince and Tears For Fears.

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When she went into the recording studio with British producer Nick Launay (below), who had built a reputation with such artists as Kate Bush and PIL and was also working with other Australia acts the Models, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Midnight Oil, Jenny was focused on re-igniting her chart career.

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Launay could not complete the album that would become Honeychild so Morris and Mark Forrester (Keith Urban, the Saints, the Divinyls and Yothu Yindi), assumed control of production. Between them they crafted a cohesive, dynamic and emotion-charged third album, which played to her strengths of crafting a radio-friendly blend of acoustic pop and dance music.

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Jenny and her brother Tam wrote the first song lifted off the album, the funky and atmospheric Break In The Weather. The lyrics capture the angst at the core of a fragile relationship where a physical separation is necessary to enable a person to re-evaluate and re-focus, before peering into the future, and perhaps progressing.

I get the chop when you say things/ I get a chill I can cure no ill/ You’re the wild that’s in my mind/ You’re the one I need to know.” Backing vocals were provided by Dave Dobyn and Ricky Fataar, and a stellar group of studio musos, including Andrew Farris on guitar, contributed to the quality of the mix. 

Perfect pop from Jenny Morris.

Jenny has stated that this was the one song she was confident would be a hit, and she had every reason to be, her mellifluous vocals lifted the song to #3 for her biggest-selling single and the album Honeychild was a #6 hit too, selling over 80,000 copies. The promo clip blended shots of a lithe, black-clad Jenny singing and dancing while psychedelic images swirled around her, and spooky dolls appeared, consider giving this clip a miss if you suffer from pediophobia (irrational fear of dolls). Jenny married photographer Paul Clarke in 1986 and their first child Hugh was born circa 2000, followed several years later by daughter Bella, so henceforward Jenny was balancing raising a family with her performing and recording career. 

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Jenny Morris has been a respected performer here and in New Zealand for decades, with three top 5 and four top 20 singles on Australia, nine albums, back-to-back ARIA Awards for best female vocalist, and induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame in 2018. In 2003 Jenny became a naturalised Australian and in 2010 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, she has also held the position of Chairperson of APRA since 2013 and been a long-time supporter of the Nordoff-Robbins charity for the promotion of music therapy. In 2015 Jenny revealed that she was suffering from a rare neurological condition known as spasmodic dysphonia, and would no longer be able to perform again.  Jenny’s last top ten hit was her Best of Jenny Morris- The Story so Far album which climbed to #10 in 1992.

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