The Cars Album is by The Cars, who was an American New Wave band.
Their debut album was released 6th of June 1978 under the record label Elektra Records, now part of the Warner Music Group.
The album, which features fourteen tracks, was mostly written by lead vocalist Ric Ocasek. One of the songs, ” Moving in Stereo “, was co-written with keyboardist and band member Greg Hawkes.
Production for the album was by Roy Thomas Baker, the award-winning English record producer. In addition to his work with The Cars, he has worked since the 1970s with a diverse range of recording artists including Queen, Dusty Springfield, Simply Red, Yello, the Rolling Stones, Santana and T. Rex.
The Cars album was recorded during February 1978 at AIR Studios, London, England. The studios, founded in 1969 by Sir George Martin and John Burgess, his partner, has played host to artists of all genres including Gregory Porter, Katy Perry, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Adele, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Paul McCartney.
The album features three singles that made the Billboard Top 100 in the United States; ” Just What I Needed “, ” My Best Friend’s Girl ” and ” Good Times Roll “, which reached twenty-seven, thirty-five and forty-one respectively.
In the United States, The Cars album had sold one million copies by the end of 1978. It has been certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ). In the United Kingdom, it has been awarded a Silver disc.
The album is one of two by the band that failed to reach the Top Ten on the Billboard 200 in the US. The other being Door to Door, which peaked at number twenty-six in 1987.
The Cars album has been generally well-received by music critics. Reviewing retrospectively on the 9th of September 2013, Classic Rock Review called it ” Quite simply one of the best produced albums of the era “. Writing for AllMusic, Greg Prato awarded the album a full five stars. In his retrospective review, he called the album ” a genuine rock masterpiece “, adding that their ” debut remains one of rock’s all-time classics. “
The most well known single, ” My Best Friend’s Girl “, was released on the 10th of October 1978. The second single from the album was written by Ric Ocasek with production by Roy Thomas Baker.
Lyrically, it is about having a girlfriend stolen by another. Ric Ocasek stated that the song was not written from personal experience, just an observation that ” having a girlfriend stolen was probably something that happened to a lot of people. “
The single became a hit for The Cars. In the United States, the single peaked at number thirty-five on the 12th of September 1978 and spent five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Singles Chart on the 11th of November 1978 and reached number three. It spent four weeks in the Top Ten and ten weeks in the Top 100.
The single also reached fifty-five in Canada, sixty-seven in Australia, twenty-eight in Holland and forty in the Netherlands.
The Cars album became commercially successful for the band. In the United States, the album peaked at number eighteen on the 24th of March 1979 and spent 139 weeks on the Billboard 200.
In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Albums Chart on the 2nd of December 1978 and peaked at number twenty-nine. It spent four weeks in the Top Forty and fifteen weeks in the Top 100.
The album also reached number five in New Zealand and spent eighty-five weeks on the chart there.
About The Cars
The Cars were an American rock and New Wave band. Formerly known as Cap’n Swing, they formed in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
The original line-up consisted of Ric Ocasek, Benjamin Orr, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson.
In the early part of 1977, the band recorded a nine-song demo tape with the song ” Just What I Needed ” getting on the playlists of radio stations in Boston.
Because of airplay Elektra Records signed the band, and they released their debut album, The Cars in 1978.
The first single released from the album, ” Just What I Needed “, peaked at number twenty-seven in the US and seventeen in the UK.
The Cars went on to release a further six albums, with two reaching the Top Five in the United States, Candy-O ( 1979 ) and Heartbeat City ( 1984 ) both peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
To date, the Cars have notched up over twenty-three million albums in the United States alone.
After the band finished their tour in 1982, they took a hiatus and worked on solo projects. Both Ric Ocasek released debut albums. Ric Ocasek’s Beatitude via Greffen and Greg Hawkes Niagara Falls under the Passport label.
The Cars came to public attention when their single ” Drive ” was used as a backing track for Live Aid’s clips of the famine in Ethiopia.
The clip featured the heartbreaking suffering of Birhan Woldo, who was close to death. The footage propelled the single back up the charts in the United Kingdom. Proceeds from sales raised close to £160,000 for the Band Aid Trust.
In 2018, the band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they reunited for the last time to perform at the induction ceremony.
At the age of fifty-three, Benjamin Orr died on the 4th of October 2000 at his home in Atlanta, Georgia.
On the 15th of September 2019, Lead singer and chief songwriter, Ric Ocasek, died at his home in New York, he was seventy-five.
The band continues today as The New Cars. Their current members are Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, Prairie Prince, Todd Rundgren and Kasim Sulton.
On the 18th of September 2019, Billboard reported that after the death of Ric Ocasek, there is renewed interest in their music. Their sales in the United States are up 2,662%.
To date, The Cars Album releases are seven studio, eight Compilations and four video albums. They also released twenty-six singles and twenty music videos.
As award-winning recording artists, The Cars have won one MTV Video Music. They have been nominated three times for a Grammy, in 1980 and twice in 1985.
The Cars Album Track Listing:
1. Good Times Roll
2. My Best Friend’s Girl
3. Just What I Needed
4. I’m in Touch with Your World
5. Don’t Cha Stop
6. You’re All I’ve Got Tonight
7. Bye Bye Love
8. Moving in Stereo
9. All Mixed Up