Music Video of the Day: The Shuttered Palace by Ellen Foley (1981, dir. ???)

A few months ago I came across this music video. I liked it immediately. I became hooked on her when I listened to some of her previous stuff, such as a cover of The Rolling Stones’ Stupid Girl.

I thought this was the first time I had come across Foley. Hardly.

If you’ve listened to the Bat Out Of Hell album by Meat Loaf, then her vocals should sound familiar. She’s the one who sang on songs like Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Karla DeVito is the one in the video lip-syncing Foley’s vocals.

There’s another place I already knew her from that reached back to my childhood: Night Court. She played Billie. The one-season defense attorney till they got Markie Post.

Night Court

I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but I love that the first outfit she wore on the show looks like one she wore in this video.

I can understand why they replaced her. Even if they hadn’t been looking for Post to begin with, I don’t remember her character being well-written, funny, or her being properly cast in the role to begin with. None of which are her fault. She just seemed out of place.

Along those lines, the album this song is on–her second–doesn’t appear to have done well. Having listened to other songs on the album…well, she’s not Kate Bush despite the songs trying to present her such. I like this particular video, but again, she’s not the Kate Bush-type no matter what outfits they have her wear.

Looking around, the Ellen Foley below during a live performance of Stupid Girl is more representative of her than this video.

I included that last one because I can’t be the only one thinks the lady in green looks an awful lot like Rena Riffel from Showgirls 1 & 2. She would’ve had to have been 11 there, so I’m sure it isn’t her.

Despite this song and music video not being the best of introductions to her material in general, along with the fact that I have no idea what the lyrics Joe Strummer and Mick Jones wrote for her mean, it strikes a chord with me.

At the time, she was dating Mick Jones, and The Clash backed her on all the songs off the album.

I couldn’t find out who directed this video. I have a guess though. Foley sang backup vocals in 1984 on Joe Jackson’s album Body & Soul. This one screams the videos Steve Barron did for Jackson: Real Men, Steppin’ Out, and Breaking Us In Two.

I’ll do other, more Ellen Foley, Ellen Foley music videos in the future. But I wanted to start with my introduction.


2 responses to “Music Video of the Day: The Shuttered Palace by Ellen Foley (1981, dir. ???)

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