by Jeff Fiedler
Albums from the Lost & Found is a regular feature on thegreatalbums.com in which contributor Jeff Fiedler reviews and helps us rediscover great pop albums that seem to have been lost to time.
Foley had split with Jones by the time she made her third and final solo album, 1983’s Another Breath, produced by Vini Poncia, an alumnus of the Trade Winds (“New York’s a Lonely Town”) and former sideman/co-writer for Ringo Starr (Poncia would co-write the Beatle’s Top Ten hit “Oh My My”) who had previously helmed several albums for Melissa Manchester and Kiss (also co-writing the hits “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “Sure Know Something,” and “Shandi” for the latter) and co-written Leo Sayer’s Number One hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.”
Foley changes gears yet again on her third and final solo album with Epic, jettisoning the theatrical Euro-pop of Spirit of St. Louis for a much more commercial brand of pop with a slight hint of new-wave to it. “Run for My Life” finds Foley co-writing with the legendary Brill Building songwriter Ellie Greenwich, while “Read My Lips” finds her writing with Desmond Child (who also offers up the fun and catchy “Let Me Be the One You Love” and would later go on to a wildly successful career co-writing hits for the likes of Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Ricky Martin, to name just a few of his biggest clients.)
The disc also sports unlikely but surprisingly appealing covers of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Come and Get These Memories” and, even more unexpectedly, Robert Palmer’s wildly underrated “Johnny and Mary.” (Kudos to whoever came up with the brilliant idea of covering the latter.) The originals are undoubtedly still the superior and definitive versions of each song, but Foley and Poncia do an admirable job of giving these songs the ‘80s-new-wave-treatment without straying too greatly from the general sound and emotional force of the original arrangements.
Best of all the cuts on Another Breath, though, is the nostalgic opener, the cleverly-titled “Boys in the Attic,” a pure new-wave cut – boasting an utterly irresistible hook – penned by Greenwich with Jeff Kent and former Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music”) frontman/songwriter Rob Parissi; Foley sounds noticeably more playful and loose here than she has on anything since Night Out’s “Stupid Girl,” and the sheer fun factor of the cut is boosted by the presence of underrated ’60s pop star Lou Christie (“Lightnin’ Strikes,” “Two Faces Have I,” “I’m Gonna Make You Mind”) on backing vocals.
Though Foley wouldn’t make another solo disc until 2013’s fittingly-titled About Time, she would continue to dabble throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s in music, serving as background vocalist on Joe Jackson’s Body and Soul and serving as one of four female lead vocalists in the late ‘80s band Pandora’s Box, the brainchild of longtime Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman. [Their one and only album, Original Sin, would contain the original versions of several Bat Out of Hell II and III tunes, as well as the original version of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” later a massive hit for Celine Dion.]
Most of Foley’s attention in the remainder of the ‘80s, however, would be focused on acting, and she would be featured prominently in the music video for Utopia’s “Crybaby” and play supporting roles in the movies Tootsie, Fatal Attraction, Cocktail and Married to the Mob. Most notably, however, she would serve as a full-blown cast member of the critically-acclaimed ‘80s NBC sitcom Night Court during the show’s second season, playing defense attorney Billie Young (Markie Post would replace her the following season), and would also go on to star as The Witch in both the original Old Globe and the Broadway productions of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods.
Foley’s career would delightfully come full circle in 2016 as she would re-emerge on record once more as Meat Loaf’s duet partner on the song “Going All the Way Is Just the Start” on the theatrical rocker’s album Braver Than We Are.