Long recognised as Australia’s foremost jazz, blues and soul singer, Renee Geyer (born 1952) has issued 14 albums over the course of a 30+ year career.
Best known for her rich, soulful, passionate and husky vocal delivery, Geyer has also been much in demand as a session singer.
Her earliest bands included Sydney-based blues outfits Dry Red, Silversun and Sun.
In 1972, she sang with two short-lived bands, Free Spirit and Nine Stage Horizon before joining a jazz-blues band called Mother Earth, who backed Renee on her self-titled debut album and the singles Space Captain and Oh! Boy. She split from Mother Earth at the end of that year.
Her second album, It’s A Man’s Man’s World, yielded the singles What Do I Do On Sunday Morning?, It’s Been A Long Time and a cover of James Brown‘s It’s A Man’s Man’s World. Geyer’s gorgeous rendering of this song became her first charting single when it reached Number 29 in Melbourne during December 1974.
By that time, she had teamed up with jazz/funk band Sanctuary. When they came to record her Ready To Deal album, Sanctuary became known as The Renee Geyer Band.
Ready To Deal was a success and spawned three singles; (I Give You) Sweet Love, Heading In The Right Direction and If Loving You Is Wrong. During that period, The Renee Geyer Band supported overseas visitors like Eric Clapton.
The band recorded the live album Really . . . Really Love You with Renee in 1976 before she travelled to the USA to record Moving Along in Los Angeles with Motown producer Frank Wilson and a host of American session players, including members of Stevie Wonder‘s band.
Stares and Whispers and Tender Hooks were issued as singles. Renee’s final single for 1977 was the theme song to the Aussie television soapie The Restless Years.
Geyer spent the next decade dividing her time between Australia and the US. She recorded Winner in LA and Money (That’s What I Want) and Baby Be Mine were issued as singles.
The excellent Blues License album and the BB King song The Thrill Is Gone were released in July 1979.
In 1980, Renee signed to Mushroom Records. She recorded with rock band The Ideals, which resulted in the hard-edged Hot Minutes single in July 1980. Her biggest hits came with the salsa/reggae styled Say I Love You single in July 1981 and the So Lucky album (November 1981).
The album produced two other singles, Do You Know What I Mean? and I Can Feel The Fire. Geyer went on to release three further singles on Mushroom; Love So Sweet, Goin’ Back and Trouble In Paradise.
Her last albums for Mushroom were Renee Live and the ‘Best Of’ set called Faves.
In 1984 she recorded a duet with Jon English called Every Beat Of My Heart and in 1985 her first album for WEA, Sing To Me, contained the singles Faithful Love, Every Day Of The Week and All My Love.
Live At The Basement was her last solo album for eight years, during which time she lived in L.A. and joined Californian band Easy Pieces, appearing on the A&M album Easy Pieces in 1988.
Renee contributed backing vocals to Sting’s second solo album, Nothing Like The Sun. She was incorrectly listed in the credits as Rene Gayer.