Tina Arena’s 40 years of Innocence to Understanding


Tina Arena.
Tina Arena.

FORTY years in any business is a long time and reason to celebrate, let alone in the music industry.

Australian singer songwriter Tina Arena has commemorated this auspicious milestone by releasing double album Greatest Hits and Interpretations and announced her Innocence to Understanding Greatest Hits tour, which includes a date at Crown Theatre Perth on October 6.

“I thought ‘Why not?’ Forty years is rare,” Arena said.

“It’s been a long time in the game and it’s absolutely worth celebrating because you’d be a goose not to.”

The two-disc album is categorised into Arena’s greatest hits on Retrospective and music peers reinterpreting her songs on Reimagine, including the talent of Jimmy Barnes, Katie Noonan, Kate Miller-Heidke, Clare Bowen, Dannii Minogue, Jessica Mauboy and The Veronicas.

“The list could have been much longer but you’ve only got one CD and a limited amount of space; there’s a point where you have to cut the umbilical cord,” Arena said.

“They’re people who I know personally and really like. I have a lot of time for them humanly and musically and I feel really blessed that they all accepted to do it.

“A greatest hits thing for me is a concept that doesn’t really go anywhere apart from stuff people already know, which is great, but then the reimagined side of it really allows you the privilege to get a little bit creative and go ‘Wow, how do other people read these songs? What does it mean to them?’

“I hate going through the bull**** motions of anything; I find it really mundane and boring.

“I think that’s got to do with 40 years and being nearly 50 years old where you go ‘OK, what do I want to do now?’ After 40 years, if you haven’t earned it, you’ve probably taken the wrong freaking turn.”

Arena said she left the song choice up to the artists who all had the creative freedom to reinterpret however they wished.

The result was astounding to her as the tracks were sent in one by one.

“I loved everything being so stripped back and raw,” she said.

“It enabled you to listen to what’s really important which is a beautiful melody, the story it tells and what it makes you feel.”

Fans can prepare for a trip down memory lane, with stories and reworked favourites, when Arena tours later this year.

“It’s a bit of creative work to do but it’s getting there and taking a nice shape,” she said.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Innocence to Understanding Greatest Hits tour

Where: Crown Theatre Perth

When: October 6

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au