Song of the Day #4,343: ‘Upperbirth’ – The Call

Quarantine has given us the time for many a household project or pasttime. People are baking bread, assembling puzzles, tackling long postponed home improvements.

In my sister’s case, it gave her an excuse to create playlists from a bunch of old mix-tapes I made her. The cassettes themselves are long since discarded but she still has the tracklists and an Apple Music subscription, and that’s all you need in the age of streaming.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it easy on her. I wrote down the song titles but not the artists, making it hard to figure out if ‘Heaven’ was the one by Bryan Adams or Talking Heads (it was Talking Heads).

She asked me to help track down some of the more obscure tracks, and I discovered that one of them belonged to the rock band The Call, which had moderate success in the 80s and brief comeback in the late 90s.
for hi
I forget how I first discovered The Call, but it was a brief encounter — just one album — that completely fled my mind until nearly 30 years later. Digging into their background now, I realize they were a talented bunch, well-regarded in the industry, who never quite achieved the level of fame they deserved.

This week I’ll feature five songs from across The Call’s discography, starting with this track from their self-titled 1982 debut. This album was never released on CD and isn’t available on streaming services, but some kind souls have uploaded the tracks to YouTube.

This album grabbed the attention of Peter Gabriel, who called the California band the “future of American music” and invited them to open for him.

Now did you think you really had a choice?
Did you think you had a lot to say?
Did you figure they’d hear your voice?
Did he tell you give it all away?

[Chorus 1]
You were looking but you could not see
You were listening but you could not hear
Did you try to get away from me
To get away from you, to get away from here?

Well you were living in the human race
Going to take the winners’ prize
But you struggled as you tried in vain
To ride your camel through the needles eye!
(eye eye)

[Chorus 1]
You were looking but you could not see
You were listening but you could not hear
Did you try to get away from me
To get away from you, to get away from here?

[Chorus 2]
So have you fallen from your upper birth?
Oh, why, why, why?

It makes you wonder, don’t it?

Don’t you wonder why your life feels empty?
Do you methods magnify the law?
Do your witches seem to over take you?
Does it ever even trouble you at all!

[Chorus 1]
You were looking but you could not see
You were listening but you could not hear
Did you try to get away from me
To get away from you, to get away from here?

[Chorus 2]
So have you fallen from your upper birth?
At last!

I’m on the edge of my seat
I’m in the dark looking out
I’ve started feeling the beat
There’s no stopping me now! Now! Now! NOW!

So I see you’ve push beyond the limit
There will be no escaping through the back door
Someday you’re going to have to face it
Does it ever make you wonder just what for?

[Chorus 1]
You were looking but you could not see
You were listening but you could not hear
Did you try to get away from me
To get away from you, to get away from here?

[Chorus 2]
So have you fallen from your upper birth?
At last!

I’m on the edge of my seat
I’m in the dark but I’m looking out
I’ve started feeling the beat
There’s no stopping me NOW!

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,343: ‘Upperbirth’ – The Call

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I think you should do a theme week on the mix tapes themselves, or maybe Amy should as a guest blogger.😀

  2. Amy says:

    This one has almost a punk undertone. Wonder what it was about them that caused Gabriel to see the future of AMERICAN music in their sound. Fascinating. Glad our joint project gave you the inspiration to dig into a long forgotten artist you once admired.

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