Jan Hellriegel's debut album It's My Sin was launched in late 1992, aided by the top five success of her first solo single, 'The Way I Feel'. The West Auckland-raised songwriter had already spent five years in all woman band Cassandra's Ears. A second solo album, the Australian-recorded Tremble, saw her being named Most Promising Vocalist at the 1996 NZ Music Awards. Hellriegel took time away from recording after 1999 single 'Melusine'. She acted on Street Legal, and began working in music publishing. Album All Grown Up was released in 2009; a Lost Songs compilation followed, with a fifth album due in 2017.
'Melusine' sees Jan Hellriegel swaying to a different beat, at a point of major change in her career. In European folklore, a melusine is half woman, and half serpent or fish. In the music video, Jan Hellriegel performs in a man's suit, her birthday suit and a cocktail dress. Her on-screen transformation reflects the singer's real-life realisation that being feminine could be a place of strength. The video was directed by artist Tracey Tawhiao. Hellriegel recorded the song in-between leaving her record label, and becoming a parent. A remixed version won fans on the Auckland dance scene.
The lyrics to this Jan Hellriegel single unveil a strange and cryptic vision of a woman who has gone very high, and possibly lost her mind en route. Kerry Brown's video takes a similiar path. Shot largely in Auckland's St Kevin's Arcade, it begins like many other music videos, although a couple of passersby appear to have wandered into the wrong scene. Then halfway through everyone transforms, and the clip bursts into a vision of fire, red lipstick, feather boas and circus performers. 'Geraldine' was the first single off Hellriegel's second album, the Australian-recorded Tremble.
After roughly five years as a member of all woman band Cassandra's Ears, Jan Hellriegel launched her solo career with this 1992 single. The much admired video captures a seductive performance from the singer, and cuts it together with smoky pool halls, leopard print, classical sculptures, night driving and boy scouts — unlikely slow motion images, which nevertheless suit the raw emotion of the song. The clip was directed by Chris Mauger, who also utilised black and white on Ngaire chart-topper 'To Sir with Love'. 'The Way I Feel' got to number four on the NZ charts.
After roughly five years with band Cassandra's Ears, Jan Hellriegel went solo and managed to hit the top five of the Kiwi charts with both her first album, and first single. Hellriegel followed her debut hit 'The Way I Feel' with this, the title track from her 1992 album It's My Sin. The song highlights Hellriegel's distinctive voice; Matt Noonan's monochromatic video makes a different kind of music, by concentrating on close-ups of her face. In a 2017 YouTube conversation about the song's lyrics, Hellriegel argued she had become less judgemental about the idea of taking the less trodden path.