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The Cars

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Editors’ Notes

Those still clamoring for Journey and REO Speedwagon on the radio back in 1978 were rudely awakened by the sound of what many considered punk rock. But The Cars' eponymous debut album wasn’t really punk at all, even if it did kick down radio’s doors and clear a path for the power pop and new wave to follow. The Boston-based quintet masterfully blended classic rock ’n’ roll (in the Buddy Holly sense) with quasi–Beat poetics and some glam, punk, and guttural synth. (Band leader Ric Ocasek was huge fan of New York art punks Suicide.) The result was a kind of flashy—but not too flashy—aesthetic. That The Cars' tunes appealed to arena-rock fans, punk rockers, dancefloor mavens, and a whole generation of bored suburban kids speaks volumes about the songwriting and the album’s timing. From the ironic, Queen-ish opener “Good Times Roll” to the pop-punk sweetness of “Just What I Needed” and “My Best Friend's Girl” to the experimental flash of “Moving in Stereo,” the songs here simply redefined what it meant to listen to the radio, and what it meant to just sing along.

Customer Reviews

One of the Best!

'The Cars' is not only one of the greatest debut albums of all time but also one of the best albums of all time. Everybody is familiar with their hits 'Good Times Roll' and My Best Friend's Girl.' However, how could anyone not appreciate the audiotronics of 'I'm In Touch With Your World,' a song writen by front man Ric Ocasek and keyboardist Greg Hawkes, an underated musician who I feel played a major part in creating the atmosphere in this work along with producer Roy Thomas Baker. The late great bassist Benjamin Orr adds his unique vocals to 'Bye Bye Love', 'Moving In Stereo' and 'All Mixed Up' and proves that he is not just a second banana to Ocasek. This album is a MUST HAVE to all of those who appreciate great music. Thanks iTunes!


A band with wit, style and great tunes on their debut album. This album introduced "alternative music" to the masses. A true rock album classic from start to finish.

This is "Just What You Needed."

Not to date myself but this is the first lp I purchased with my own money back in the day. I overheard the "cool" kids at school talking about it and I too wanted to be "cool." F-them now but this became and still is one of my favorite rock albums ever made. I wore out my vinyl copy and I recommend getting the CD. I still till this day cannot hear "Moving in Stereo" and not think of Phoebe Cates taking off her top in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Buy this album. It's just that good.


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 its sleek, mechanical pop/rock, the band racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles that made it 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
The Cars, The Cars
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, New Wave, Pop, Pop/Rock, Arena Rock
  • Released: Jun 06, 1978

Customer Ratings