The first album -1978's The Cars- was a smash hit for the Boston-based group that promptly went platinum. That debut has been lauded as a "genuine rock masterpiece" by allmusic, with songs such as "Just What I Needed" "Best Friend's Girl",
"Let the Good Times Roll", and "Bye Bye Love".
After six albums and four Top Ten hits in the US, the band broke up in 1988. Sadly, singer/bassist Benjamin Orr -a close friend to fellow Cars founder Ric Ocasek- passed away far too young in 2000. Following that, Ocasek often said there would never be a Cars reunion, so by 2005 guitarist Elliott Easton and keyboard player Greg Hawkes instead hooked-up with Todd Rundgren and Kashim Sultan (fmr Meat Loaf/Rundgren's Utopia) to form a cleverly-named spin-off band -The New Cars- who toured with classic Cars and Rundgren tunes in addition to some new collaborative compositions.
If you're a rock fan that can somehow manage to be unhappy when The Cars are playing there's something seriously wrong with you.
Myself, I'll always hold them dear, as this band really made that first summer with my Camaro in '79... couldn't play them loud enough, or often enough.
The Cars also ruled MTV in that era, with hugely popular videos like "You Might Think I'm Crazy", which specifically won Video of the Year honors on the cable music channel.
Band leader Ric Ocasek -son of a NASA engineer- also appeared in Jon Waters' cult film Hairspray, has put out a number of solo albums, and today produces bands such as Weezer and No Doubt. He has been married to the ever-lovely Paulina Porizkova for over 20 years, who he met on the set while shooting the video for "Drive" in 1984, in which the supermodel starred. (clip below).
But to the surprise of many, just last month a new Cars album
-the first in 24 years- was released. Seems that Mr Ocasek had a change of heart last year, and the surviving members began practicing and composing for a new album: Move Like This.
It's been met with a decent critical reception, if not commercially. I myself have only heard one track -Sad Song- really not bad at all, though- and real Cars all the way, right down to the hand claps. The band is touring again, too... dates -here-
Let the good times roll indeed- remember when bands actually had some sense of humor and sang fun songs about cool cars and beautiful women? What a contrast to most of the caustic rubbish you hear today. Who needs angry pierced-n-stamped 'outcasts' like Pink or Eminem whining about their childhood and what victims they are? To hell with them, if I want to get depressed I'll listen to George Jones-
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