Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
That Fabulous Ellen Foley!
Brent Burgess | South Dakota | 09/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An Ellen Foley album takes a little getting used to, but once it's grown on you you're hooked! Now I don't say this to reflect on Ellen's abilities in any way. With only three discs to choose from, one has to consider the times and their production. Her first release, "Night Out," is probably the most infectious since "Spirit of St. Louis" and "Another Breath" both breeze through British-tinged punk and eighties-style production respectively, and I prefer the seventies sound of "Night Out" over either of those two genres. This isn't to discredit her other works however! Having almost as readily dimissed "Night Out" as "Another Breath" upon my first initial listen, the second time around for each proved Foley had not only put out a product worth hearing but poured her heart and soul into every recording.
Stylistically, Ellen appears as a hybrid of producer Phil Spector's two leading ladies: Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett (later Spector) and Darlene Love. Ronnie had that teenage angst sound down to a tee with her prepubescent timbre, while Darlene delivered the goods on hit after hit no matter what monicker she appeared under. Foley has something of that Ronnie sound when she hits the high notes or tries to sing overly high, but comes across as much more smoothe and soulful like Love when in a more natural range. Of course, she's got power regardless, never tinny, and is capable of impressing any listener willing to overlook whether or not they particularly care for the lyrics or actual songs, which brings us to the actual songs.
Despite possessing something of a Blondie sound coupled with mid-eighties Heart in the mix, the compositions "Boys in the Attic," "Let Me Be the One You Love" and "Read My Lips" still shine, while "Another Breath" and "Come to Me" literally leave their listener, shall we say, breathless? "Run for My Life" and bonus track "Beat of a Broken Heart" suffer from being a bit too eighties-ish, with the first sounding like a contender for the film "Flashdance," but the additional bonus track "Ghost of a Chance" is actually quite haunting.
I fear Ellen Foley was more a product of her times than she should have been, forced into a company category and promoted incorrectly since "Nightline" has to be the worst track on this disc, even taking the previously accounted for bonus cuts into consideration, yet was apparently pushed the hardest since the extended release of "Another Breath" features three alternate mixes of this song? Should the company choose to put out a similar package for "Night Out," a true Ellen Foley revival might well come about but, alas three releases are all we're treated to of an artist who possibly didn't reach her full potential, and certainly didn't reach as many fans as someone with so much talent was so capable of doing."
Ellen's 3rd Rocking Album + Bonus Tracks!
gassy goon | 01/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, Ellen Foley's catalog is on CD, and the 3rd release by her is a fantastic set of songs , plus it is enhanced by it's very rare bonus tracks! ANOTHER BREATH was released in 1983, and it is filled with superb songs, Ellen's amazing talent & a very astute set of musicians backing her. The sound is definitely rock, with an accent on rhythm , and nearly every song on here is great. Ellen's performances are certainly stellar as on her 1st and 2nd releases. This album is a return to the rock sound of NIGHT OUT, but not as heavily produced as that 1st album. Ellen worked with Vini Poncia , the songwriter/producer who has a long list of credentials dating back to his work in the 60's with Phil Spector. Ellen co-wrote some of the songs also, so songs like RUN FOR MY LIFE, READ MY LIPS, and SPY IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE are all stand-outs. They all have boast a strong rock sound , great lyrics & catchy choruses. BOYS IN THE ATTIC , the opener, I remember seeing the video for once on the old USA Network " Night Flight " show. It's a great song that should have been a single and a hit, and was co-written by the legendary songwriter, Ellie Greenwich.
Ellen's voice is the main attraction of course, and she is strong as ever here. There are also some great vocal turns on the softer songs like the beautiful title track, ANOTHER BREATH, and the sublime COME TO ME. There is a rocked up version of Martha & The Vandellas' COME AND GET THESE MEMORIES , which I saw Ellen do on The David Letterman show a year or so later. The only single released in the USA was NIGHTLINE, an upbeat dance track with a cool spoken word section in the middle by Ellen. The Pointer Sisters also did this song a bit after Ellen's version. The band of musicians were actually Ellen's band at the time, and everything gels & fits together well. It's not overpowering & a perfect setting for the muti-talented Foley.
What is a real surprise is the bonus material on here & the packaging. It boasts 2 very rare songs , both co-written by Ellen :BEAT OF A BROKEN HEART [ the b-side to NIGHTLINE ], the unreleased, magnificent GHOST OF A CHANCE, a 5 minute dramatic epic that La Foley really sings her heart out on, plus 3 mixes from the single and 12" versions of NIGHTLINE. Plus, it even has the original lyrics inside. I've never seen a Wounded Bird release that is so thorough and done the right way. Don't hesitate to get this CD. It is an amazing reissue of this excellent album.
I never understood how the Cleveland International/Epic label never understood what a talent they had with Ellen Foley. She did 3 albums for them, all excellent, and they just did not get behind her in promoting her music & talent. After this 3rd & last album in 1983, she did no more albums. I was lucky to see her twice in 1981 opening for ELO, and in August 1983 at The Bottom Line in NYC, where she did many songs from this album. After this album, Ellen performed on Broadway in CATS and ME AND MY GIRL , which I saw. It was another side to her talent, but I thought it bizarre to take such a route to doing show tunes. Soon after this , CYNDI LAUPER broke big, and then MADONNA. Ellen didn't continue on recording. She acted [ TOOTSIE, FATAL ATTRACTION, MARRIED TO THE MOB ] and one season on NIGHT COURT . She only made an occasional guest spot on an album here or there, including Jim Steinman's PANDORA'S BOX concept album in 1988. Then , she married & settled down to raise a family. I hear that she's back, and performed recently at The Cutting Room in NYC . Welcome back Elllen Foley! Let's hear a new ROCK album from you. It's great to have you back. This release is a reason enough to celebrate.
I'll second that...
D. Hinson | atlanta, ga usa | 08/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I too love this album. I remember a friend in Atlanta playing it for me when I was living in my hometown of Macon, Ga and trekking to the big city on the weekends. I have always loved a great voice, and boy does this lady deliver! It is one of those albums that I wore out on vinyl, and waited over 20 years for the powers that be to put on cd. It was worth the wait, and includes the aforementioned extra tracks to sweeten the deal. Ellen is back with a band called Dirty Old Men and has been playing some dates in NY. Let's hope a new album is not far behind!"