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The Lace

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Album Review

The Cars' bassist/vocalist Benjamin Orr lent his immaculate pipes to a few of the band's most enduring FM hits ("Bye Bye Love," "Let's Go," and "Drive"), but he wasn't able to step out from behind the shadow of guitarist/bandleader Ric Ocasek until 1986. The Cars had reached a new level of fame with 1984's Heartbeat City, and that success was beginning to cause some friction within the tight-knit Boston collective, so they did what any smart band would do: they released a Greatest Hits compilation and Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, and Orr all recorded solo albums. Despite appearing on numerous collaborative projects, The Lace would be Orr's only proper solo release — he died of pancreatic cancer in 2000 — and of the three mid-'80s solo flights, only his retained the melodic snap that made the Cars such radio staples. Produced by Orr, Larry Klein, and Mike Shipley — the latter mixed Heartbeat City — The Lace sits sonically snug between that album and 1987's Door to Door, using programmed drums, keyboards, guitar (courtesy of Easton), and Orr's impossibly solid voice to deliver a record that never achieves greatness but still feels good all the way through. It gets a little midtempo heavy near the end, as if every other song is carefully positioned to remind listeners that this is the man who sang "Drive," but "Too Hot to Stop," "Hold On," and "Stay the Night" would have been highlights on anything the Cars ever put out.

Customer Reviews

Great voice, Great cd, Thanks for the music

While Benjamin's solo career consisted of only this cd, his musical legacy casts a long shadow. The Cars ruled the late 70's and early 80's with The Police and Hall and Oates, carving out a fabulous record of pop singles. Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr are two of the great voices of the era- Ben's smooth vocals graced the incredible "Just What I Needed", "Bye Bye Love", "Let's Go", and "Drive" among many other great cars songs. The Lace gives us more of Ben's wonderful voice. "Stay the Night" is simply an 80's pop masterpiece, must have, while "Hold On" and "When You're Gone" are also very good. While some of the instruments sound dated in the 80's, especially the drum sequencing, this cd is still worth having. Thanks for all the great work Benjamin. You are missed.

Coolest 80's pop

I've been waiting for this Benjamin Orr album to show up on iTunes -- and was worth the wait. I got this on cassette in '86, and remember it as one of the best 80's electro-pop releases. The whole album still holds up; especially Stay the Night, Skyline, When You're Gone and The Lace. If only he would've lived to have produced more great music...what might have been. Every Cars fan should definitely give this one a listen -- as good as anything Ric Ocasek produced.


It's taken years, but we are finally blessed with the one and only solo album from Benjamin Orr. Thank you and rest in peace.


Born: September 8, 1947 in Lakewood, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Benjamin Orr was the bassist/singer of the Cars, who had such '80s-era Top Ten Pop hits as "Drive," "Shake It Up," "You Might Think," and "Tonight She Comes." "Magic" and "Let's Go" made the Top 20. Orr sang lead on "Drive" and "Just What I Needed." Born Benjamin Orzechowski on September 8, 1947, in Lakewood (Cleveland), OH, Orr would entertain his family and friends with Elvis Presley imitations. During his teens, he learned to play guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion instruments. Dropping...
Full Bio
The Lace, Benjamin Orr
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 1986

Customer Ratings