Best (France): La Belle Ellen - December 1979 (by Hervé Picart) |
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La Belle Ellen
Ellen Foley. A gorgeous voice. An adorable voice. That's all I knew about her, but it was enough for some kind of love at first sight. Her eruptive part in Meat Loaf's first record, then "Nightout", her own first solo record, produced and sponsored by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson, had left me convinced that rock had a new femme fatale in this small american girl. A meeting in Paris has thickened my little folly for beautiful Ellen. She's not just a voice and a face, she's a will, a sacred fire, a character, everything needed to build a star, if the showbiz and medias agree. Beyond her attractive looks, what attracts the attention in Ellen is something like a demon inside her, wearing her down, even eating away the blooming of her figure, that white hot wild demon inside, which often haunts the theatre woman. As Ellen is as much a theatre woman as a rock singer:
"I started singing rock with a school band, Big Jive, with friends from college, but I've always been as attracted by acting as singing. The band was too miserable, so I went to New-York, where I started acting small parts on Broadway, in a rather well-known show "Boy Meets Boy". That allowed me to take part in the National Lampoon Tour. During those theatre tours, I came across Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, who were actors too. We started working on the album project, and the people from CBS got interested by this guy singing wagnerian hits with piano accompaniment. While the album was taking its course, I went on acting in theatre plays, television films, musicals. Then after Meat Loaf's record, I began working for myself. I played a part in Milos Forman's "Hair" and Jim Steinman's "Neverland", a rock'n'roll look at Peter Pan. Theatre and rock music are two faces of my schizophrenic persona. From the day I realized that my voice fitted rock'n'roll, I always sang it. It now occurs that this side of me is on top. Theatre gave me an experience of the stage which is now very useful. I love both rock and theatre, because I love everything that's strong on emotions. I'm not one of these girls who sing backgrounds before making a name. I don't like that. I did not really leave Meat Loaf. It so happened that between the time when the record was finished and the time it came out a lot of time has gone by, and as the band was not doing anything, I got to work on my own side. Then it was too late to come back, I was too far into my own career. I met Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson through my management. I had recorded a demo of a Mott The Hoople number "All The Way From Memphis", written by Ian Hunter. It gave them the idea to ask Hunter to produce the record. He was very interested, he saw what was to be done at once. We made a real team. It was not Ian thinking, Mick Ronson playing and me singing. Ian played, Mick did a lot of arranging. They put me in the best of conditions. As I had chosen the songs for the album myself, I was not, as it happens too often, a pretty puppet in the hands of a producer. Now I have to try and do without these godfathers, I'm putting up my own band, and I intend to write my own songs too, not in an autobiographical purpose, but to create characters the band and I will play. Our show will be very theatrical, not in an artificial effects way, but in a human way, with feelings and characters creating. I know exactly where I'm going. Rock may be now the only way to create a theatre which would be alive, and that's the way I want to go."
A very determined beautiful Ellen. No doubt that with her tremendous talent and her commitment to quality she'll go far, very far.
H. P. (Hervé Picart)