Ellen Foley

  • Ellen Foley
  • Nightout (Cleveland Int'l) 1979 
  • Spirit of St. Louis (Cleveland Int'l) 1981 
  • Another Breath (Epic) 1983 

Ellen Foley made three solo albums after gaining fame in the performing company of Meat Loaf. The first was produced by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson and includes covers of songs by the Rolling Stones and Graham Parker. Hilly Michaels is the album’s drummer.

The third was produced by frequent Ringo Starr collaborator Vini Poncia and features songs from Motown and Robert Palmer. She found brief TV fame on Night Court in the mid-’80s, but her relevance here is entirely due to Spirit of St. Louis. The production is credited to “my boyfriend,” who happened to be Mick Jones at the time and the musicians accompanying her on it are the Clash and their musical associates (Tymon Dogg, Mickey Gallagher, etc.). Half the songs are new (and otherwise unissued) Strummer/Jones compositions; three others are Dogg’s.

Recorded right after the loose and eclectic Sandinista!, Jones did an about-face to craft precious arty backing that strains Foley’s vocal talent beyond endurance. Her interpretive abilities disappear under the weight of such screamingly pretentious tripe as “The Death of the Psychoanalyst of Salvador Dali.” (What books were those boys reading?)

[Wayne King / Ira Robbins]

See also: Clash