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Call of the West

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iTunes Review

Wall of Voodoo's second album, Call of the West, will forever be linked with its hit single "Mexican Radio": a winningly woozy trip south of the border and one of the new wave era's defining tunes. But there's a lot more to this record. The moody "Lost Weekend" feels as much like an Elmore Leonard story as a pop song, and if David Lynch ever directed a western, the title track could be its theme. And while there's an abundance of synth riffs and drum machines (it was the '80s, after all), guitarist Marc Moreland's desert-dry licks lend the whole thing an Ennio Morricone–style spaghetti western edge that helped set the band apart from the synth-pop pack.

Customer Reviews

Call of the West

The only song I know off of this album is "Mexican Radio." I remember the video back when MTV was good. It is when of my one of my all time favorite songs from the 80's.


This album shows the raw, aggressive early talent of Stan Ridgeway and company. Every track rings of a complex character, motivated and multi-facted, brought forth under the dark minimalist rock with synthizer. From the start horn by way of harmonica through the heavy verbal snycopation of Factory, this album demonstrates what they'd set the stage for with the release of Dark Continent. New wave by time period, set to the tone of well after dark things move in the night.

missing bonus track

It's a shame iTunes didn't include "Exercise", the bonus track from the cassette tape release of this album . . . a stellar work from start to finish . .smart, cutting, dark, and funny and ironic all at once . . . '80's writ large . . . now you see 'em . . now you don't . . . this is one of the soundtracks for the much deified "Reagan Era" . . that suggests to the darkness behind all the patriotic rah rah stuff going on at the time . . .


Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Best known for their alternative radio classic "Mexican Radio," Wall of Voodoo formed in Los Angeles in 1977, originally as a soundtrack company. Led by singer/songwriter Stan Ridgway and rounded out by guitarist Marc Moreland, bassist/keyboardist Bruce Moreland, keyboardist Chas Gray, and drummer Joe Nanini, the group issued its self-titled debut EP in 1980. With the additions of bassist Bruce Moreland and his brother Marc on guitar (replacing Noland), the band's sound crystallized on 1981's full-length...
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Call of the West, Wall of Voodoo
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Customer Ratings