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The Cars

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Album Review

The Cars' 1978 self-titled debut, issued on the Elektra label, is a genuine rock masterpiece. The band jokingly referred to the album as their "true greatest-hits album," but it's no exaggeration — all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics, still in rotation on rock radio. Whereas most bands of the late '70s embraced either punk/new wave or hard rock, the Cars were one of the first bands to do the unthinkable — merge the two styles together. Add to it bandleader/songwriter Ric Ocasek's supreme pop sensibilities, and you had an album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans. One of the most popular new wave songs ever, "Just What I Needed," is an obvious highlight, as are such familiar hits as "Good Times Roll," "My Best Friend's Girl," and "You're All I've Got Tonight." But like most consummate rock albums, the lesser-known compositions are just as exhilarating: "Don't Cha Stop," "Bye Bye Love," "All Mixed Up," and "Moving in Stereo," the latter featured as an instrumental during a steamy scene in the popular movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumni Roy Thomas Baker), the Cars' debut remains one of rock's all-time classics.

Customer Reviews

78 what a year

At the college I attended in the 70s, this album was on everyones turntable. I wore out two of these on mine, I liked a heavy needle. Still great today all the way through. Take me back...........

The BEST Cars album

The Cars were ahead of their time with this album. Catchy tunes, lots of synth, every song layered with sound... The whole album playable all the way thru-- no filler. It doesn't get any better than this.

The Cars

Remember when albums were good all the way through?! Yeah... Like that, but change the word (good) to great.

Biography

Formed: 1976 in Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

Blondie may have had a string of number one hits and Talking Heads may have won the hearts of the critics, but the Cars were the most successful American new wave band to emerge in the late '70s. With their sleek, mechanical pop/rock, the band racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles that made them one of the most popular American rock & roll bands of the late '70s and early '80s. While they were more commercially oriented than their New York peers, the Cars were nevertheless inspired...
Full Bio