Biography

Jenny Morris was born in New Zealand where she entered the music business and where she began performing in the all-girl group The Wide Mouthed Frogs. This was followed in 1980 by the band The Crocodiles, with whom she scored a Top 20 hit in New Zealand with ‘Tears’. In February 1981 The Crocodiles moved to Sydney, only to disband in July. Began her solo career by singing the title track for the film Puberty Blues, which was a local box-office success in 1981. In 1983, Morris formed QED with Rex Goh (ex-Air Supply). The duo’s debut single, ‘Everywhere I Go’, peaked at #19 on the Australian charts in early 1984. Morris’s next single proved to be her solo breakthrough: ‘You’re Going To Get Hurt’ hit #24 in August 1986, finally establishing her as a serious singer/songwriter. In July 1987, Morris released her first solo album, Body and Soul, produced by Mark Moffatt and Ricky Fataar. It sold over 70,000 copies in Australia (platinum status), and spawned a number of singles, the biggest of which, ‘You I Know’ (written by Neil Finn), reached #13. She won ARIA’s for Most Popular Female Performer in 1987 and 1988. In July 1989, a second album was released: Shiver. This was a more mature effort, featuring the joyful reggae of “Self Deceiver”, a gentle love song to her unborn child “Little Little” and the up-beat woman’s anthem (and #5 Australian hit single) “She Has To Be Loved”. The album peaked on the Australian chart at #5, selling over 140,000 copies (double platinum). As one of Australia’s leading female singer/songwriters, Morris has toured extensively in Australia and overseas, first with Tears for Fears, then Prince, INXS and Paul McCartney. A cover of Janis Joplin’s ‘Piece Of My Heart’ was a hit in 1990, and was followed by a third album, Honeychild, released in October 1991. A much more dance-orientated effort with rhythm tracks played by the legendary Jamaican duo Sly and Robby, the album reached #5 on the Australian album chart and featured the single ‘Break In The Weather’, (co written by brother Tam) which peaked at #2 on the Australian charts. Chopper/ Assassination Of Jesse James director Andrew Dominic directed three videos from this album. In November 1992, The Story So Far, a best-of compilation was released. The album included ‘Jackson’, a song performed as a duet with Michael Hutchence and originally performed as the finale of the Countdown music show with INXS in 1987. In August 1995, Jenny released her 5th solo album Salvation Jane. This produced some of her strongest vocal work, including the languid “Rhythm and Flow,” with its Aboriginal influences. Produced by Steve Balbi and Justin Stanley it was an adventurous and uninhibited collection of songs which showed further maturing of Jenny’s song writing skills. For the next few years Jenny dropped out of the limelight, combining occasional gigs with work for environmental causes and her life as a mother. In August 2002 she recorded Hit & Myth. Despite the long lay-off, it sounded like the work of a relaxed and confident woman. The production by Nick Wales, gave the album a polished, contemporary feel, with Jenny’s vocals placed high in the mix, allowing the warmth of her voice to shine through. In 2002, a portrait of Jenny Morris by artist Jan Williamson was entered in the Archibald Prize. The portrait did not win the main prize, but won both the popular awards, the “Packing Room Prize” and “The People’s Choice Award”. In April 2004 Jenny released Listen: The Very Best of Jenny Morris. In May 2005, the ‘Alive’ DVD was recorded in the heart of Sydney at The Basement and featured Jenny playing some of the biggest hits of her career. The DVD was the culmination of 20 years of music from one of Australia’s most beloved singer/songwriters. The band included Andrew Farriss from INXS, Steve Balbi from Noiseworks and The Electric Hippies, Ian Moss, Rob Hurst from Midnight Oil and actor/singer Josh Quong Tart. In June 2006, Clear Blue In Stormy Skies from the Liberation ‘Acoustic Blue’ series was released. It featured beautifully remodelled Morris songs that had become firm radio fixtures. Jenny is working on the next CD. In between times she is a fund raiser for the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy organisation. She organises a unique event called Art of Music featuring some of Australia’s top artists each of whom paints a piece inspired by a great Australian song. The results are auctioned at a dinner at the Gallery of New South Wales. “It’s a way to combine my two great loves, Art and Music and raise money for a good cause at the same time.”

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