80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Call

call
In 1980, vocalist/guitarist Michael Been, Scott Musick, and Tom Ferrier, originally from Oklahoma, formed a band known as The Call in Santa Cruz. Their first album was self-titled and launched what was to be a succession of seven albums up until 1990.

 The eponymous premiere album was filled with emotion that is plainly conveyed through Been’s singing style. It caught the attention of Peter Gabriel who asked the band to open for him during his 1982 tour. A crucial element to the fledgling group’s sound, Garth Hudson of The Band played keyboards on The Call’s first three records.

Reconciled, by far my favorite The Call Album, had the likes of Peter Gabriel, Jim Kerr and Robbie Robertson as guest artists. “Everywhere I Go” and “I Still Believe” are rock-the house, kick-some-serious-butt songs, which more than amply show the depths of The Call’s talent. On these merits alone, the band should have attained world-wide acclaim.

Though they toured and recorded regularly throughout the 80’s, only one released single made it to #1 on the American Mainstream Rock chart – “Let the Day Begin.” Although a solid song, it would not have been my first pick to catapult them to the top of the chart.

“Everywhere I Go” via YouTube user dodgybizkit:

“I Still Believe” via YouTube user dodgybizkit:


“The Walls Came Down”
via YouTube user dodgybizkit:
 

 “Let The Day Begin” via YouTube user dodgybizkit:

 If you do nothing else, try to get hold of a copy of Reconciled. In my humble opinion, this one album encapsulates all that set this group apart from all the rest during the most diverse and crucial decade for music. It may even raise a chill bump or two.

Discography: 

  • The Call, 1982
  • Modern Romans, 1983
  • Scene Beyond Dreams, 1984
  • Reconciled, 1986
  • Into the Woods, 1987
  • Let the Day Begin, 1989
  • Red Moon, 1990
  • The Best of the Call, 1997
  • To Heaven and Back, 1997
  • Live Under the Red Moon, 2000
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7 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Call

  1. Stoked to see a post on The Call. Their inspiring ‘The Walls Came Down’ rates among my favourite tracks of 1983. Though it reached #21 here in Australia, I agree with you wholeheartedly – The Call were criminally underrated – it should have been a #1!
    Thanks for the post 🙂

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  2. YES!!! My favorite band! I’ve seen them a couple times and have a t-shirt and a bass pick from them. Reconciled is simply fantastic and they are most definintly “criminally underrated.” There is a Yahoo group devoted to The Call and a couple websites as well.

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  3. Hey AFOS,

    Thanks for your comment. Folks in the UK and Australia typically show excellent taste in music – I believe #21 was a higher chart place than they achieved here in the states. And, I really love “I Still Believe” and just know they should have done fabulously with that. Have a great week and Cheers!

    MissP
    x

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  4. Hi Robert!

    You are one of the very fortunate ones. I remember you mentioning them as one of your faves and was hoping you’d see the post. Thank you for the additional information – will be sure to check it out!

    All the best,
    MissP
    x

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  5. I was recently writing about The Call. I played them like crazy on my college show back in the 80’s, but I think they were a little too mainstream for the college rock crowd, but a little too alternative for the mainstream. They got so close with “Let The Day Begin” and its genuinely a shame that they never broke out further.

    Thank you for giving me another chance to listen to “I Still Believe.” Allow me to recommend “The Wall Came Down,” in case you’ve not heard it. I suspect you have. 😀

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  6. Hi Joey,

    I appreciate your comment. You have so much fabulous music and commentary to offer on your site and I’m glad this band struck a chord (pun intended) with you. What you say is very true – about The Call being in a “twilight zone” of sorts – and that may be the very reason they didn’t break through as big as they should have. Yup – “The Wall Came Down” is another powerful anthem – typically emotionally charged, “dare-you-to-sit-still-while-listening,” blow-your-socks-off great! We’ve had to suffer through so much mainstream junk, while a band like The Call was allowed to fade into obscurity. It doesn’t make much sense.

    All the best to you!
    MissP
    x

    Like

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