My Top 1000 Songs #267: The Walls Came Down

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

I have hazy memories of hearing The Call's 1983 single "The Walls Came Down" at a high school party. And ever since, whenever I hear it, I feel like a 17-year-old kid hanging out with friends in someone's basement in suburban Chicago while their parents were out of town, drinking cheap beer purchased with a fake ID while bitching about school and worrying about the SAT and talking about who just got their first car and wondering who might hook up later out on the beach along Lake Michigan. Which, as a middle-aged dude, is kind of a nice vibe to recapture.

The song itself feels a little sparse, a repetitive spin on a basic 12-bar blues riff given a jaunty new wave sheen. The anti-war lyrics do stand out in places--"I don't think there are any Russians and there ain't no Yanks; just corporate criminals playing with tanks" is one of those lines that's always stuck with me. But mainly it's just that riff swaddled in reverb, instantly identifiable after about 3 seconds, that strips away the 40 intervening years.