427. Undivided – First Call
First Call is the term given to a musician or vocalist who are the top of every producer’s list to appear on a project. They are usually paid the highest amount and are known for needing the least amount of studio time to get it right, actually saving the studio money even though they can charge a higher rate.
The group first call earned their name. The trio headlined by Marty McCall (Fireworks) were a famed studio trio that appeared on countless albums and earned a record contract. McCall’s experience with Fireworks and Mel Tunney and Bonnie Keen’s studio work made them seasoned veterans without ever performing live together.
Undivided is seen as the groups official first album even though the previous year they were the primary force behind one of the finest CCM Christmas albums ever, An Evening in December. The Christmas album, though, also featured other named CCM artists at the time.
Undivided starts with a sound similar to what was coming out of Nashville at the time with inspirational balled and medium tempo songs like the title track, which went on to be a huge hit. The group, though, really excelled and separated themselves when they ventured into more jazz and Manhattan Transfer styled compositions. But even in the more common fair their vocals and arrangements, especially on songs like “The Future” put them in a class all by themselves.