Ellen Foley, who was born in St Louis, made her living as a background singer
in the New York sound studios for years, before in 1977 Jim Steinman selected
her for Meat Loaf's first LP "Bat Out Of Hell" to be the duet partner
of the "heavy weight" sound-acrobat. The duet from the song "Paradise
By The Dashboard Light" made the tiny singer a star overnight. The "Rolling
Stone" paid tribute to her voice by saying "She is the most promising
voice of rock this year". With her first album "NIGHTOUT" she proved
the pop gazette to be right. The 1979 released album brought her hits like "What's
A Matter Baby" and "We Belong To The Night" - all her other titles
also showed the musical taste of the blonde lady. Compositions from Jagger/Richards
("Stupid Girl") and Graham Parker (Thunder And Rain") completed
the masterpiece produced by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson.
The second album Ellen Foley produced was called "Spirit Of St Louis"
(1981). It was noticeably more subdued than its rocky predecessor, but fans
were happy to accept this change. The album which was produced with input from
Clash-members Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, and which had titles such as "Torchlight",
"The Shuttered Palace", Theatre Of Cruelty", and "How Glad
I Am", (editors note:- "How Glad I Am" is not a Strummer/Jones
composition however.) gives a remarkable example of the musical diversity of
the singer. The English newspaper "New Musical Express" regarded the
whole album as a piece of contemporary music culture, and its main aim should
not only be the charts. To listen is the important factor here - and to enjoy.
As Ellen Foley published her third LP in 1983, again she turned heads by being
able to have Vini Poncia as a producer. He is well known for his successful
work with Leo Sayer and Ringo Starr. The experienced expert in audio mixing
discovered refinements in Ellen Foley's voice that must have escaped his predecessors.
Spectacular interpretations of songs such as "Johnny And Mary" (Robert
Palmer), "Come And Get These Memories" (Holland/Dozier/Holland) and
"Let Me Be The One You Love" (by cult-composer-team Desmond Child
and David Landau) again brought her the best critiques in all major music publications.
Full of enthusiasm "Music Week" wrote: "Who could have thought
that Robert Palmer would be so happy about a cover-version of his hit. The whole
album is along these lines: sparingly used arrangements, good songs and above
all this voice that doesn't bore you for a minute."