Friday, October 23, 2015

"The Walls Came Down" by The Call

Song#:  1440
Date:  05/07/1983
Debut:  87
Peak:  74
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This band formed in Santa Cruz, California, in 1980 and two years later they were signed to Mercury and releasing their self-titled debut album. It didn't get much attention, but the label seemed to believe enough in the band to flip the bill for a second album. "Modern Romans" did much better reaching #84 on the Album chart thanks to this first single that hit #17 at Mainstream Rock. The track's popularity on rock radio and its MTV video allowed it to crossover onto the pop chart for a few weeks. Their next three album's wouldn't produce much in the way of hits, but the band remained popular and they would end up having their biggest hit near the end of the decade.

ReduxReview:  What I remember about The Call is that they were being touted as the US version of U2. Their "Modern Romans" album was a bit political in nature and that along with their sound invited the comparison. The U2-ish connection had me interested in the band, but I must have heard a track on the radio or somewhere and decided they weren't for me. I can't say that hearing this song changes my mind in anyway. It's a rousing track that starts off with a great riff, but then it just settles into a basic 12-bar blues-ish jam. I was expecting an anthematic chorus of some kind to really kick the song up. It didn't happen and I kind of got lost in a sea of "ya-ya's." Meh.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Robert Levon Been is the son of The Call's lead vocalist Michael Been. The younger Been stayed in the family business and became a founding member of the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (named after the motorcycle gang that Marlon Brando belonged to in the 1953 film "The Wild One."). A popular indie band, they would be highly successful in the UK scoring four Top 25 albums there including 2003's #3 "Take Them On, On Your Own." In the States, their best showing thus far has been 2013's "Specter at the Feast," which reached #35. Michael Been was highly involved with his son's band and would serve as their sound engineer on tours. Unfortunately, at a 2010 BMRC tour stop in Belgium, Been suffered a fatal heart attack. The Call would reunite later to pay tribute to Been. Robert would join them as lead vocalist, assuming his father's role.


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