The Cars The Cars
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- 1Good Times Roll03:46
- 2My Best Friend's Girl03:44
- 3Just What I Needed03:44
- 4I'm In Touch With Your World03:32
- 5Don't Cha Stop03:06
- 6You're All I've Got Tonight04:14
- 7Bye Bye Love04:14
- 8Moving In Stereo04:41
- 9All Mixed Up04:18
Info for The Cars
Ric Ocasek's songs were influenced by the Velvet Underground and the punk rock movement, but had a slick pop/rock sheen which proved very successful. After a demo version of "Just What I Needed" became a listener favorite on WBCN in Boston (the bands' homebase), they were pursued by record companies. „The Cars“ was recorded in 2 weeks in London, England.
This ranks as one of the best debut albums from a rock band. The Cars are filed under rock, but they are closer to power pop than any other genre. Ric Ocasek sounded like a cross between the Raspberries and Television, punk sound with a pop attitude. The giveaway was the irresistible harmony-ridden hooks in just about every one of his songs. Listen again to "You're All I've Got Tonight," "Just What I Needed" or "My Best Friend's Girl" and be thrilled. Lots of chunka chunka guitar and Mamas And Papas harmonies, and rarely a dull moment. They managed only six albums in 20 years, but they never bettered this.
„The Cars“ sold one million copies by the end of 1978 and remained on the charts for nearly three years. Although it only peaked at number 18, Billboard ranked it number 4 on their “Top Albums of the Year” countdown. Critically, the album has been labeled “a genuine rock masterpiece”. It launched a ten year charting career for the group which included several more hit albums and songs.
"... coming across like a new wave band, while acheiving mainstream success.... Their slick, sparse, proto-synth-studded sound [is] effectively captured... ". (Q-magazine)
Ric Ocasek, guitar, lead vocals
Ben Orr, bass, lead vocals
Elliot Easton, guitar, background vocals
Greg Hawkes, keyboards, saxophone, percussion, background vocals
David Robinson, drums, background vocals
Recorded at AIR Recording Studios, London, England in February, 1978
Engineered by Geoff Workman and Nigel Walker
Produced by Roy Thomas Baker
In many ways, The Cars were the prototypical American new wave band of the 1980s. Barging into a pop-music scene then overwhelmed by English New Romantic pretty-boy bands, The Cars’ highly polished, chrome-plated four-on-the-floor rock ’n’ roll charged up the charts like a souped-up Camaro racing to the checkered flag—with the band’s Alberto Vargas-designed album art glinting like metal-flake paint on a hot rod.
Cars co-founders Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr had been writing songs and forming bands together since 1972, when they first teamed as two-thirds of the folk trio Milkwood (whose one album also featured Cars’ future keyboardist Greg Hawkes). In 1974, Ocasek and Orr joined with Elliot Easton to form the legendary Boston band, Cap’n Swing, which lasted but a year. Finally, in 1976, the trio called in Hawkes and ex-Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson, and The Cars were ready to roll.
The Cars, released in the spring of ’78, spun off three hit singles (“Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll”) and graced the charts for more than two and a half years, eventually going platinum six times over. Their debut was so successful, in fact, that Elektra delayed the release of the band’s 1979 follow-up, Candy-O, for several months. Candy-O, 1980’s Panorama, and 1981’s Shake It Up each, in turn, went platinum, and the latter’s title track became the group’s first Top 10 hit. Along the way, Ocasek began establishing a reputation as a producer, working with such bands as Suicide, Bad Brains, and Romeo Void.
After Shake It Up, the band members took a break, with Ocasek, Orr, and Hawkes all recording solo albums. It must have done them good, for their next album, Heartbeat City, became their most successful. Released in 1984, Heartbeat City sprang to #3 on the album charts and produced four Top 40 singles (“You Might Think,” “Magic,” “Drive,” and “Hello Again”). These singles also broke new ground visually with their inventive, computer-animated videos, which each received heavy rotation on the then-nascent MTV.
The next two years found the band on another extended leave (with solo albums from Ocasek, Orr, and Easton), followed by 1987’s only somewhat successful Door To Door. The Cars disbanded in February 1988. Ocasek went on to release seven solo albums and produced some of the biggest names in ’90s rock. Easton took to the road with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Orr, after a long and painful battle, succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2000.
The Cars legacy continued in to the 21st century with the release of a live concert DVD, a double-disc deluxe edition of their classic self-titled debut album, and the ultimate Cars collection, Complete Greatest Hits.
This album contains no booklet.