Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ellen Foley

  • Spirit of St. Louis [Epic/Cleveland International, 1981] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Spirit of St. Louis [Epic/Cleveland International, 1981]
This well-intentioned side trip from punk postpurism to Weimar-manqué artsong might be less embarrassing if Foley and all her voice lessons weren't such typical backup stuff, but as it is she really bollixes such conceits as "Priests married themselves, using Bibles and mirrors/In China all the bicycle chains snapped at once." Which Joe Strummer, here reduced to strummer and backerupper, might actually spit out with some authority. Producer Mick Jones, dubbed "My Boyfriend," acts as if too many chops are Peter Asher's problem, but it's just the opposite--in studio-rock, every note has to be perfect and then some, which leaves Paul, Topper, Mickey etc. two steps short much of the time. C