Led by Michael Been, The Call were known for their strong lyrics and updated roots rock sound. The band released their first album in 1982, but it was 1983's Modern Romans that became their first hit. Helped by MTV, "The Walls Came Down" reached #74 on the charts while the LP peaked at #84.
However, the band followed up Modern Romans with the more ethereal Scene Beyond Dreams in 1984 (which did not break the top 200), and then became embroiled in a legal dispute with Mercury Records that delayed the release of their next album (Reconciled) until 1986. Needless to say, this damaged the group's momentum.
In spite of these issues, The Call continued to release strong albums through 1990, when Michael Been left to try his hand at a solo career. The band later re-formed in 1997, but broke up again in 2000. Been eventually became involved with his son's group (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) until his untimely death from a heart attack in 2010.