Most of you have never heard of them.
They enjoyed a brief run of minor popularity in the mid-80s, had Bono sing on one of their songs in the early 90s, and then gave another tune to Al Gore to use in his presidential race of 2000. And then, with barely a whimper, they were gone.
“They” are “The Call.”
The sound is a bit dated, you better like the bass guitar if you’re going to listen, and the vocals can cross the line into melodrama.
But it’s a melodrama that played a pivotal role in reclaiming my spiritual life when I was a young adult, and from there propelling me to seminary. The Call’s music is subtly, subversively, spiritual. And their mix of music and lyric, melody and message was just the tonic my wandering soul needed in my mid-20s. You may have them confused with The Cure, The Cult, or even The Clash, but this band convinced me that I did, in fact, still believe. So here are my Top Five Call Songs of them all.
1. I Still Believe. Yes I do.
2. What’s Happened To You. If you listen closely you can hear Bono on backing vocals. I bet you don’t think they’re so obscure now!
3. The River I confess: the reason I like this song is that a group full of Jesus followers use the word “ass” and get away with it. Urgent, chaotic, Flannery O’Connor-esque treatment of baptism as well.
4. Even Now. Oh, the line about outrunning those who would “steal from me my love for God” gets me every time.
5. Everywhere I Go. A truth that’s both convicting and comforting: he surrounds you wherever you go.
6. (For The Sake Of Al Gore) Let The Day Begin. Not one of their best songs, but it did receive more radio airplay than any other.