James Reyne

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About James Reyne

Born in 1957 in Lagos, but raised in Melbourne, Australia, James Reyne has made a career out of committed vocal performances and lyrical surprises, first as frontman for Australian Crawl and then as a solo star. Wearing casts on his two broken wrists after being struck by a car, Reyne stole the show with animated facial expressions during Australian Crawl’s 1979 TV debut on Countdown. That snide turn fit snugly with the acidic commentary of the pub-rockers’ debut single, “Beautiful People”, which called out the era’s fashion victims for their Robert Palmer T-shirts and “cocaine cough”. After Australian Crawl dissolved in 1986, Reyne continued to bring a quirky edge to slow-burn ballads. He playfully cites nunchucks and throwing stars on 1988’s “Motor’s Too Fast” yet still brings lived-in gravity to his 1992 duet with country singer James Blundell on the Dingoes cover “Way Out West.” As yearning as he is idiosyncratic, Reyne remains a true Aussie original.

Lagos, Nigeria
19 May 1957

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