Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 225: The Call - Reconciled

By: March

Album - Reconciled
Artist – The Call
Key Players - Scott Musick - drums,vocals. Tom Ferrier - guitars, vocals. Jim Goodwin - keyboards, vocals. Michael Been – bass, lead vocals
Produced By – Michael Been and the Call

Release Date - 1986

What caused me to blow off the dust? - A college friend of my wife actually posted something about them on facebook a few weeks ago and it got me to thinking. Sometimes I need inspiration! Thanks Dr.PGW for the reminder.

Overview - This was the fourth full length album from Santa Cruz California based band "The Call". The band had been labeless for about 2 years before being picked up by Elektra Records. The band would find success in the college radio circuit and release a few more records. They'd never have a big chart topping hit but they'd make news when then Presidential hopeful Al Gore used the song "Let the Day Begin" in 2000.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
The album opens strong with shimmering guitar on "Everywhere I Go" and a quick back beat put down by Musick. The bass chugs along and the vocals come in. Been has a very powerful voice, which grabs the listener right away. As the chorus approaches Peter Gabriel and Jim Kerr from Simple Minds lend their support. They are not pushed any higher than the band so it is largely un noticed. Ferrier is very much at home with the jangle on his guitar and gets a quick solo with Goodwin filling the sound with keyboard fills. The vocals come back but it is just Been and the drum beat as the urgency builds to another run at the chorus. Been chugs a short for bass notes and “I Still Believe (Great Design)" begins. This song was also on the soundtrack for "The Lost Boys". The band all slowly comes in and it is a strong/tense build up. When Been starts to sing he is clear and punchy at the same time. The band is slowly building and Musick is careful to not burst out until needed and when you think it would be him it is actually Goodwin who takes off on a keyboard run. The overall vibe of the track is dark, but the tempo and mood hit you in the right spot. This was one of the two bigger songs from the record and it is easy to tell why. Been sets it up for what is to come with the powerful voice. There is a bit more of an 80's tech/keyboard feel at the start of “Blood Red (America)”. Been still leads the charge, but at first it feels a little out of place. The band is experimenting and Musicks drums seem electronic as well. Robbie Robertson from "The Band" guest on “The Morning”. We start off once more with keyboards and the guitar. Musick lays down the beat and Been begins to sing. The band sings a verse but doesn't go right to a chorus instead there is an interlude and they do a second verse. Ferrier is doing short fills while Goodwin also gets the track to gain momentum. As the chorus is sung Been seems to really push his emotion. He has a particular sound. Robertson takes off on his solo, it is not too long and he seems to really blend well with the band. They come back around an then wrap up. The track “Oklahoma” is counted off an the band sounds more in a "rock mode". Musick keeps the drum beat tight with Ferrier and Goodwin complimenting the bass from Beem. Even with three other members on backing vocals there seems to only be one with Been on this track. I could be wrong, but the harmonies are real tight and Been, once more, is really the focus point. “With or Without Reason” starts off rather dark but after a few short lines from Been the band takes off. Again, a little campy in the keyboard department but they were using the tools of the time. Jim Kerr is back on backing vocals in “Sanctuary”. Musick taps across the hi-hat with Ferrier and Goodwin adding on in parts. Kerr is a lot more pronounced on this track. Ferrier has a short solo after the first verse that doesn't distract. Kerr repeats his role a few times, but does not do much outside his one or two repeated words. “Tore the Old Place Down” is a little more down tempo for the band. Goodwin is the focus point early but Been has a nice bass fill that Music and Ferrier respond to well. Been seems less rushed vocally on the track. The album wraps up with “Even Now”. Goodwin runs down the keyboard and the bass of Been is up in the mix. Ferrier seems comfortable with his role on the guitar allowing for Goodwin to come back around. Ferrier has one of his longer guitar solos on this track, but it is still not over the top. The band rejoins and the track heads for home.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 2000. Micheal Been died on August 19,2010 while on the road with his son's band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Micheal had been the bands sound engineer. From what else I can find, and as always PLEASE comment if you have more info. Musick gives private lessons and plays out from time to time. Ferrier shares the name with a British race car driver so I didn't find much. Goodwin has worke with soundtracks and advertising jingles. He is also involved with the web site eggchair music, a site consumers can utilize to find music for projects.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take - The album has not aged the best, but you need to remember the time. They are a talented bunch of guys for sure and Been might be one of the most under rated vocalists ever. Just a booming voice. They have a best of collection and casual fans should start there. Chances are if you went to college in the late 80's you already know and like "The Call"

Official Page
myspace as well as Facebook

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The album is out of print but not too hard to find. You can start here.

Video for Everywhere I Go
Live version of the same song from 1986. See the power "live"
Audio Version only of I Still Believe


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