Stacks Image 73

The Call - Let The Dy Begin

Tracks: Let The Day Begin, You Run, Surrender, When, Jealousy, Same Ol' Story, For Love, Closer, Communication, Watch, Uncovered

Released 05/19/89 by MCA (out of print)

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In February 1988, The Call went into American Studios in Los Angeles and recorded some of the music and vocal tracks for their upcoming sixth album. As yet untitled, the album is slated for release in early Summer.

Of the thirteen songs recorded for the new album, ten will be on the release, with the remaining songs possibly being placed on B-sides of the singles. While most of the songs were written by Michael Been, a few are collaborations with Jim Goodwin. Some of the songs that were recorded for the album are:

What A Day
Same Old Story
For Love (with Harry Dean Stanton on Harmonica)
You Run

Additionally, the compact disc will contain an instrumental titled “Reconciled”. Originally recorded during the “Reconciled” sessions, this music was used by Robbie Robertson and Gil Evans for The Color of Money soundtrack.

The new album is being produced by Michael Been and The Call, and engineered by Rob Eaton, who also worked on “Reconciled”. There are few, if any, overdubs this time around, capturing the band’s live essence.

Many of the cuts on the new album are live takes, as were such previous songs as “Oklahoma” and “Walk Walk”. Jim Goodwin recalls that “Oklahoma” was almost made up as they went along. “We had the chord changes down. Then, in the studio, we tried it. Michael just said, ‘Roll the tape; I’m going to sing it this time.’ I could see him just kind of thinking it out as we were going.”

The Call’s unique style of music has been unfolding with each album. And although Michael writes most of the material, he’s quick to state that the contribution to his songs by the other three fourths of The Call is limitless. “All of them are so creative in kind of a natural way. I always have a tape recorder running or I’ll listen intently to what they do. Unconsciously they may be setting up a sound on their instrument or playing some little melody line that if I didn’t record it or memorize it, it would just go out into space and that would be the end of it. I know I could take my songs to a different group of musicians and the sound would be something completely different. The sound of The Call is the sound of the way these guys play their instruments.”

“Music to me has such an amazing potential to talk about your life and everything about your life. It’s kind of exposing in a way, but I came to the conclusion that if we’ve all got something to hide, and all these dark secrets and the human condition, the conversely we’ve got nothing to hide. Everyone has a dark side and the wonderful, beautiful side.”

“The new album, lyrically, has to do with the inability to communicate our feelings and with running away from our problems, or more specifically, the attempt to run away from ourselves. It’s more directed at getting to the root of the human situation rather than explaining things away, either through spiritual images or psychological insights. The point is to get down to concrete facts about the life we all share.”

"I believe the way we act out our lies as adults depends upon the way we were raised as children. I think the meaning behind such words as evil or sin or psychological terms such as psychosis or neurosis could be better understood if they could be related to actual incidences or occurrences that happened when we were children, and continue to happen throughout our lives. Some things happen to us as children that on the surface may appear to be harmless and of no great consequence, but in fact control and dominate.”

“To one degree or another every living person was an abused child. Perhaps not physically, but definitely abused mentally, either by parents or the educational system. Things that appear to be harmless or things done with the best intentions have, in fact, done damage to al of us. Parental authority, educational authority; this is what we need to concentrate on, as opposed to political or economic problems. What is done on an intimate, personal level - the relationship between child and adult - - seems to me to be the place to start. The rest of jour problems grow out of this initial childhood experience - - creating an unbroken cycle of the abused child becoming the abusing adult.”

“I’m into healing. In almost all healings, it takes a traumatic self-realization. To get healed, you need to get sicker sometimes. I don’t think people should remain neurotic, despairing or lonely - I think you need to go through that, but I don’t think it should be the final word. The healing process is painful. As difficult as the process might be, we still must have faith and trust in the process and not try running away from it. Whether, lyrically, I can pull this off remains to be seen.”

The album was initially to be called "Watch". Below was taken from the CALL'S fanzine "Notified" and gives some insight into the band's think at the time:

The Call’s sixth LP, titled
Watch, will be released in early March. Michael Been described the new album as lyrically more direct, more practical - - not as poetic as Into the Woods in terms of imagery. There will be 11 cuts on the CD and 10 on vinyl. The songs are “You Run”, “Surrender”, “Jealousy”, “When”, “For Love”, “Let the Day Begin”, “Same Old Story”, “Closer”, “Watch”, “Communication”, and “Hymn”. “Communication” will be the 11th song on the CD. The first single release will probably be either “You Run” or “Let the Day Begin”. The album is produced by Michael Been an Jim Goodwin, and engineered by Rob Eaton.

For the most part, the Call toured very little this past year. They did one month in America, six weeks in Scandinavia and some shows in California. Upon the release of the new album, the band plans to devote most of the year to touring.

Michael Been and Harry Dean Stanton met on the set of
The Last Temptation of Christ. There they discovered their musical tasted were very similar, and while sitting around waiting for the cameras to roll in Morocco, the two would play music along with other so inclined members of the cast. They both enjoyed the creative collaboration so much they decided to team up for more of the same back home. Along with Scott Musick and Jim Goodwin, they put together a mostly acoustic show blending blues, folk and basic rock and roll; doing sterling versions of songs like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, “Long Black Veil”, “Borderline”, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, “Under The Boardwalk”, and Moby Grape’s “8.05”.

Initially, the idea was to do just a few shows in California, but since the act was so well redeived and they all had time off, it was agreed to take the show on the road. I’m not much at reviewing live shows, but the performances I saw were incredible. Vocal harmonies to soothe the emotions even as they expressed them - very relaxed and spontaneous. Or as Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle put it, “That was the kind of evening it was; a couple of pals hanging out and playing some music. Been and Stanton couldn’t have looked more homey and at ease if there had been a campfire at their feet.”

If there is one more route into the 90’s, it leads inward. That’s the Call’s unswerving direction. After a single play of their new album, “Let The Day Begin”, you understand immediately and intimately why peter Gabriel called them “The future of American music”. The Call’s music is not retrograde or nostalgic, but it does hearken heavily to the indwelling mysteries that Dylan and the Band and Van Morrison also heard. “The Call is a band for people who feel things extremely,” says Michael Been, the group’s songwriter. “We’re not for people who are extremely cool, for whom cool is the ultimate expression.” From available auguries, it seems that the 90’s may not be too cool either, so the Call should fit right in, finally. They have been cult favorites for about ten years now, but the title track of the new album is getting some wide play on the radio. “We shouldn’t waste rock and roll,” Been says. “Rock should be looking at some of the big questions.” And he has words for anyone fretting over the graying of rock, for whoever freaks out on musical fashion and obsesses over obsolescence. “To be a rock and roller isn’t like being a football player,” he says. “there are brilliant jazz and country players and classical guys in their 60’s. If you’re a musician, you’re a musician for life.” Remember that this New Year’s Eve. And turn the radio up a little. The Call should still be on. ---- Jay Cocks, Time

Good bands don’t come along everyday, and albums as strong as this even less frequently. Let The Day Begin is a close-to-fully-realized effort from one of a handful of socially / spiritually aware American bands, all deserving a larger audience. Here’s to continued creativity and renewed success for these guys, “with blessings from above,” of course. ---- Greg Easterling

Let The Day Begin contains the integral spiritual tensions that have fueled the great classics. And this record is destined for classic status. ---- Kathy Kielar, The Express

The Call’s records are mere shadows of what they do in person. The studio scarcely begins to capture the intensity o songwriter and bassist Michael Been’s voice. Left handed Tom Ferrier peppers the songs with a succession of blues licks, power chords and harmonies. Keyboardist Jim Goodwin conjures up drones, electric smear and eerie atmospheric church organ sounds. Drummer Scott Musick is as slick as an expensive Swiss watch. ----- Dale Anderson, Buffalo News

Michael Been writes lyrics that explore the hidden side of man - - insecurity, fear and jealousy - - and Been’s theatrical voice breathes real meaning into those words. This is music to change your life by ---- Linda Joseph, The Speed of Sound

The Call has something to say and music to play; Been and the boys deliver their music and message powerfully well on Let The Day Begin ---- Ray Boren, Desert News, Salt Lake City

The Call weaves spiritual rock and roll without gimmicky or posturing and though the quartet’s music is overwhelmingly serious, it avoids pretentiousness ---- John Wirt, Richmond Times

This band pretty much defines power and intensity. Part of the reason for the Call’s intensity is obviously its lyrics. Michael Been still hasn’t found what he’s looking for, and his intensely personal struggles with faith, love and hope are illustrated with refreshing directness. Been’s one of the few male songwriters to openly tackle the fear-of-intimacy problem (“Closer”, “Communication”, even “You run”). ----Karen Schlosberg, Boston Herald

As I close this review let me give some advice to those of you who plan on being involved in some extracurricular activities. Go out and buy Let The Day Begin, have a nice dinner, dim the lights, and then play “Jealously” from this album. This is an incredibly romantic ballad and a work of art on its own. It will surely get you in the mood. ---- Solomon Rojas, VISTAS
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