Sarah Jane Morris in conversation with David Eastaugh
In 1982, Morris joined The Republic as lead singer they received enormous publicity from the music press including cover stories with NME and City Limits and a documentary for Granada TV. But the band was deemed too political for radio play, with the exception of Capital London. The Republic were signed to Charlie Gillett's Oval Records Ltd and released an EP entitled Three Songs From The Republic and two singles entitled "One Chance" and "My Spies". Success did not follow and the band split up in 1984.
Morris then sang with The Happy End, a 21-piece brass band named after Bertolt Brecht, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill's musical play. Playing a circuit that included Brighton's Zap Club and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Happy End explored protest music from Africa, Ireland and Latin America on a way that emulated Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra.
Morris found fame initially with the Communards, who are best known for their hit "Don't Leave Me This Way". Morris featured prominently on many Communards tracks, her low and deep vocal range contrasting with Jimmy Somerville's falsetto. She has also recorded as a solo artist, releasing albums since 1989. These have enjoyed most popularity in Italy and Greece.
Morris also contributed to the opera The Fall of the House of Usher (1991) by Peter Hammill and Judge Smith, singing the part of the chorus. She also sang the part of Mère Ubu on the Pere Ubu album Long Live Père Ubu! (2009), which features songs from Bring Me The Head of Pere Ubu, David Thomas's theatrical adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi.