“Call Me” brought high drama to the airwaves in late 1981 and wound up being the only top 40 pop hit for formidable dance/funk interracial, intergender New York band Skyy (known as New York Skyy in the UK.) The song topped the R&B charts as well, one of three number ones for the group.
The drama? Oh. The narrator of “Call Me” is throwing her homegirl under the bus so she can make moves on said friend’s boyfriend. Not cool, right? If I was a witness to this in “real life”, I’d at the very least face a serious quandary. Do I hip girlfriend to the bullshit that her supposed homie is doing behind her back? Or do I sit back and grab a tub of popcorn MJ-in-the-”Thriller”-video style?
I don’t have to face that, thankfully. It’s just a song. And the song is all kinds of dope. That funky guitar lick. That bouncy, sly groove. Bonne Dunning’s voice (one of the most unique to come out of that era). The telephone call breakdown!
A telephone call in the middle of the song! Remember those? Someone bring that back. And not some Taylor Swift “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone” bullshit, either.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Call Me” by Blondie (1980): A fantastic intersection of new wave and disco, in which Debbie Harry makes herself available to answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over a throbbing Giorgio Moroder production. While Debbie is playing a submissive role lyrically, her singing is anything but.