I have written this elsewhere on several occasions and will repeat it again here: Michael Been was the single most impressive and passionate lead vocalist to ever grace a rock and roll stage. Others may bellow, scream and prance about, but Been could stand perfectly still and show little or no emotion and still drive me to tears with the sheer passion and believability of his voice. The rich baritone that could elevate to staggering heights of emotion has simply not been matched. I miss him… Let the Day Begin was the 6th album from The Call and carried the band into the 1990’s with what should have been the coming out party. Rock radio loved the title track, making it the bands only number one single, but it just wasn’t to be. It is one of the great mysteries of rock and roll music that a band like The Call could never break into the mainstream music fans consciousness despite a consistently impressive output of amazing music. This album was that one shot. It was filled with radio friendly rock music with a slight alternative twist that seemed reared and ready for success. The first four songs (Let the Day Begin, Run, Surrender and When) should have been runaway hits and appeared on several movie soundtracks. Been’s history in Christian music is actually relatively unknown. His first known appearance (that I am familiar with) is playing bass on the first two Barry McGuire albums as well as being a musician for 2nd Chapter of Acts. He regularly appeared on Jesus Music/CCM albums before creating The Call and heading into a more mainstream world. But his Biblical worldview is present here and on every able he was connected with. It should not difficult to see the hope, grace and mercy that poured from his been and voice. Yes, he will be missed. Greatly!
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Let The Day Begin – 3:50 2 – You Run – 5:34 3 – Surrender – 4:07 4 – When – 5:18 5 – Jealousy – 5:38 6 – Same Ol’ Story – 3:36 7 – For Love – 6:13 8 – Closer – 5:00 9 – Communication – 5:38 10 – Watch – 4:16 11 – Uncovered – 2:24
Credits Art Direction – J.A. Design – Jeanne Bradshaw Drums, Vocals – Scott Musick Engineer [Assistant] – Matthew “Boomer” LaMonica, Paul Dieter Engineer [Studio Monitor] – Gary Sanguinet Guitar, Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals – Michael Been Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier Keyboards, Vocals – Jim Goodwin Mastered By – Bob Ludwig Photography By – Richard Corman Producer – Jim Goodwin, Michael Been Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Ed Cherney Recorded By, Mixed By – Rob Eaton Supervised By [Equipment Supervision] – Mike Smith Technician [Guitar Techs] – Edd Kolakowski, Rich Modica
This album was our introduction to The Call. Well in my case it honestly it was their second album, I missed this one almost entirely. Actually I think a lot of people missed this first album which is a pity because it’s actually very good. There isn’t much information on the formative years of The Call but we do know they formed in 1980 in Santa Cruz, California. The original lineup was Michael Been (lead vocals, guitar), Scott Musick (drums), Tom Ferrier (guitar), and Greg Freeman (bass). Steve Huddleston (keyboards) joined 1981. This album would set the sound we would come to love but this album only did moderately well and didn’t rank in the U.S. top 100 album chart. It just didn’t have a breakout single, that would wait for their second album. The chosen single was “There’s A Heart Here” but really I think “Bandits” would have been a much better choice but who am I to question the record company gurus. Anyway if you joined The Call on their second album be sure to take the time to listen to this one and hear where it all started.
Tracklist 1 – War Weary World – 4:18 2 – There’s A Heart Here – 2:56 3 – Doubt – 4:19 4 – This Is Life – 3:06 5 – Fulham Blues – 3:13 6 – Who’s That Man – 3:05 7 – Upperbirth – 3:38 8 – Bandits – 3:28 9 – Flesh And Steel – 4:54 10 – Unbearable – 2:37 11 – Waiting For The End – 5:15
Credits Bass, Vocals – Greg Freeman Drums, Vocals – Scott Musick Engineer – Hugh Padgham Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Lyden, Howard Grey, Steve Prestage Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards – Michael Been Producer – Hugh Padgham Synthesizer, Piano, Saxophone – Garth Hudson Written-By – Michael Been
The 6th release from The Call is often referred to as their “Dark” album. Personally I don’t find it that dark but I also don’t find it that good. It’s not a bad album just not as good as their previous albums. Michael Been states it’s his favourite album and I have to agree that it has some of their best lyrics of all their albums. I personally just preferred the more commercial sound of their previous work. The official single was “I Don’t Wanna” which only climbed to #38 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. My pick for a single is “It Could Have Been Me” with it’s addictive drum line it stands out.
Tracklist 1 – I Don’t Wanna – 5:15 2 – In The River – 4:04 3 – It Could Have Been Me – 4:38 4 – The Woods – 5:10 5 – Day Or Night – 4:12 6 – Memory – 4:05 7 – Too Many Tears – 4:24 8 – Expecting – 4:52 9 – Walk Walk – 3:50
Credits Michael Been – Bass, Composer, Guitar, Producer, Vocals Cary Butler – Assistant Engineer Tom Ferrier – Composer, Guitar Jim Goodwin – Composer Stephen Innocenzi – Mastering Steve Kline – Assistant Engineer Matt Mahurin – Photography Stephen Marcussen – Mastering Scott Musick – Composer, Drums, Vocals (Background) Eric Myer – Photography Dan Nash – Assistant Engineer Dave Reitzas – Assistant Engineer Dan Smith – Producer Don Smith – Engineer, Producer Andy Udoff – Assistant Engineer Tracy Veal – Design Gary Wagner – Assistant Engineer
Companies, etc. Manufactured By – Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation Phonographic Copyright (p) – Elektra/Asylum Records Copyright (c) – Elektra/Asylum Records Published By – Neeb Music Published By – Tarka Music Published By – Titleface Music Published By – WB Music Corp. Published By – Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. Recorded At – A&M Studios Recorded At – One On One Studios Recorded At – Rumbo Recorders Recorded At – Conway Studios Mastered At – Precision Mastering
This was the third album from The Call and my personal favourite. It has a pretty distinct change in style from “Modern Romans” and at the time this was a style I was a huge fan of. This style is not really my favourite anymore but this album is still in my top 100. I was a bit surprised while researching this album that the title track single didn’t make the charts. I was further surprised that the album only made it to #204 in the U.S. I was a DJ in Canada and this album was huge, I remember playing it like crazy. I know it must have singled pretty strong in Canada but I couldn’t find the charts to confirm. Commonly referred to as their “metaphysical” album this is one you should listen to again.
Tracklist 1 – Scene Beyond Dreams – 3:47 2 – The Burden – 3:34 3 – Tremble – 4:01 4 – Delivered – 4:03 5 – Heavy Hand – 3:23 6 – Promise And Threat – 4:30 7 – One Life Leads To Another – 4:38 8 – Apocalypse – 1:46 9 – Notified – 2:58
Credits Art Direction, Design – Ria Lewerke Bass, Vocals – Joe Read Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Scott Musick Engineer – Dave Jerden Engineer [assistent] – Carolyn Collins Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, Lead Vocals – Michael Been Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier Keyboards – Jim Goodwin Photography – Moshe Brakha Producer – Michael Been, The Call Written-By – Michael Been, Peter Lewis
Companies, etc. Manufactured By – PolyGram Records, Inc. Marketed By – PolyGram Records, Inc. Recorded At – Eldorado Recording Studios Pressed By – Hauppauge Record Manufacturing Ltd.
This was the second album from The Call and is probably the one that introduced most people to the band. Their first album was not very well received but I guess was well enough received that Mercury Records went ahead with a second album. The single “The Walls Came Down” was a rather odd single. It only reached #74 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart though did make it to #17 on the mainstream rock chart. What was odd is that it was hugely popular on MTV. The video was very well received which I find odd because it is the just the band playing the song in what looks like a warehouse. Remember that often first singles followed this style on the thought we would learn who the band was. A strategy I always thought was stupid as these videos were notoriously boring. But as boring as it was (and it is) it was on heavy rotation. The song is actually referring to the cold war between the U.S. and Russia but there is the obvious suggestion of the biblical story of Battle of Jericho. Now I will toss in a personal opinion. I actually preferred their initial self titled album, but this album did solidify me as a permanent fan.
Tracklist 1 – The Walls Came Down – 3:35 2 – Turn A Blind Eye – 3:48 3 – Time Of Your Life – 3:27 4 – Modern Romans – 3:24 5 – Back From The Front – 4:02 6 – Destination – 4:32 7 – Violent Times – 4:28 8 – Face To Face – 4:05 9 – All About You – 4:20
Credits Bass – Greg Freeman Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Scott Musick Engineer – Richard Kaplan Engineer [Assistant] – Chuck Johnson, David Spritz Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier Guitar, Vocals [Lead] – Michael Been Producer – Michael Been, The Call Synthesizer, Cornet – Steve Huddleston Synthesizer, Saxophone – Garth Hudson Written-By – Michael Been
Companies, etc. Published By – Neeb Music Published By – Tarka Music Phonographic Copyright (p) – PolyGram Records, Inc. Manufactured By – PolyGram Records, Inc. Marketed By – PolyGram Records, Inc. Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Compton, CA Recorded At – Indigo Ranch Studios
This was the 4th album from The Call. The previous 3 were relatively well received but this album was the real break out album for them. I am surprised by the number of CCM fans that do not know that The Call was a band of Christians. They weren’t a Christian Band per say but a band of Christians who did secular music. But if you really listen it’s secular music with Christian undertones. Of course the great single off the album is I Still Believe. The song has been covered by many including Russ Taff. While I was researching The Call I found a quote from Michael Been that sums up a lot of how I felt about CCM music in the 80’s;
“I [wish] Christian musicians wrote more about their life experiences instead of trying to be so ‘on the nose’ with spiritual language. It doesn’t give people room to be who they are at the stage they’re at in life. I like to write with the feel of parables, not in strict language. I’m attracted to people who tell me a story, and then I see what it stirs up in my own life. But putting Psalms to music? Taking 30 lines from the Bible for a song? That’s why I like religious books, for instance, rather than books on religion.”
1 – Everywhere I Go – 4:18
2 – I Still Believe (Great Design) – 5:30
3 – Blood Red (America) – 3:42
4 – The Morning – 4:40
5 – Oklahoma – 4:18
6 – With Or Without Reason – 4:02
7 – Sanctuary – 3:57
8 – Tore The Old Place Down – 4:12
9 – Even Now – 4:37
Art Direction – Carol Friedman
Design – Janet Perr
Drum Programming – Jimmy Bralower
Drums, Vocals – Scott Musick
Engineer – Rob Eaton
Engineer [Assistant] – Don Rodenbach, Eric Mohler
Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier
Keyboards, Vocals – Jim Goodwin
Management – Gary Heaton
Mastered By – Jack Skinner
Mastered By [Cd] – Barry Diament
Other [Photography Research] – Carol Been
Producer – The Call
Producer, Written-By, Bass, Guitar, Lead Vocals – Michael Been
Programmed By [Keyboards] – Jeff Bova
Written-By – Jim Goodwin (tracks: 2, 8)
Manufactured By – Victor Company Of Japan, Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Elektra/Asylum Records
Copyright (c) – Elektra/Asylum Records
Recorded At – Power Station
Mastered At – Sterling Sound