The Cars

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by cj herrera, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. cj herrera

    cj herrera New Member

    May 7, 1999
    Oakland, damn straig
    Yo Ric..…why the long face?


    Okay, with that obligatory — and **always** funny — joke out of the way, I just thought it was time for a thread on these guys. I mean, who doesn’t love The Cars? Communists? Saddam? Richie Williams? Who?

    I remember being higher than a Steve Perry C-note in my friend’s puke green Ford Maverick with his new piece o crap tape deck listening to Panorama— probably their worst album— and singing along with the title track thinking: “What could possibly be better than this?”

    And I can’t really argue with my then-self. Because after Candy-O and their genius debut album, they could have released 40 minutes of Jack Edwards trying to shout the word “goal” convincingly and I would have loved it.

    Let’s focus on that first album for a minute: Just think of the layered vocals on “Gooooood Tiiiiiimes Rooooollll.” Shivers. The spaz-jerk of Ocasek’s vocals on “Best Friend’s Girl.” The new wave imperative of “Just What I Needed.” And those are just the first three tracks.

    And of course the record ends with the spacey dyad of “Moving in Stereo” blending into “All Mixed Up.” Because, after all: Life’s the same. We’re moving in stereo. Life’s the same. Except for my shoes.

    Except for my shoes? WTF?

    Okay, so lyrically, they were no geniuses. In fact, they have some of the worst lyrics ever— the above being a prime example. But what do expect from a group with one of the worst names ever?

    The Cars? It’s as perfectly stupid as it is stupidly perfect. Anything would have been a better name — the ‘Vettes, the Mustangs, the Camaros, hell the Pintos. But from a group wearing white framed vaurneys, string ties and valley girl shoulder pads, The Cars seems pretty apt. I mean, take a look at those guys — even at 15 I knew deep down that they were geeks.

    Yet, Candy-O... I need you.
  2. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    The Cars were great! Never figured out how Ric Ocasic hooked up with Paulina Porizkova.
  3. Dyvel

    Dyvel Member+

    Jul 24, 1999
    The dog end of a day gone by
    Leeds United AFC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    And I've never figured out how Ric Ocasic hooked up with the Bad Brains. Ocasic produced the Bad Brains album "Rock For Light".
  4. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax

    like eddie murphy once said... even ugly singers get chicks
  5. Footix

    Footix Member

    Dec 11, 1998
    Left Of The Dial
    This thread is a great example why CJ is one of my favorite posters here.

    I actually won a vinyl copy of the first Cars album at a high school dance when it first came out from a local top-40 DJ who was spinning at my school. It was like winning the lottery to me, as "Just What I Needed" was just breaking as a single and, to me, sounded like nothing else.

    Last week, driving home from work, I was scanning around the AM band for no apparent reason, and stumbled upon the voice of that same DJ doing an afternoon shift on a talk station. He gave the call-in number, I dialed in, got right through, and told him about my contest winning so many years ago and how that record still mattered to me. Amazingly, the guy remembered the gig, even making reference to something that happened that night to prove it, and he and I talked for about 8 minutes about the importance of The Cars, that first album, and those songs. Totally cool, and we probably made hundreds of old people turn their dials.

    Here are mentions of The Cars, Ocasek, Bad Brains and soccer all in one ramble from a few weeks back by some hack writer friend of Michael K's:
  6. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read this stuff every week and wonder how in the hell this guy gets paid the big bucks to write it.
  7. anticheese

    anticheese Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    I love The Cars. My dad used to play The Cars greatest hits and Dire Straits greatest hits on all our soccer roadtrips.
  8. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    FOW's Stacy's Mom is a nod to the Cars.
  9. Mad_Bishop

    Mad_Bishop Member

    Oct 11, 2000
    Columbia, MO
    Ric was produced some amazing albums...I would put him near Steve Albini, except that Ric doesn't usually work the boards himslef
  10. cj herrera

    cj herrera New Member

    May 7, 1999
    Oakland, damn straig
    That's a phenomenal story.
    I went to one -- count 'em one -- high school dance and never returned. They were playing Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zeppelin, Foreigner, Supertramp, ELO -- stuff I would certainly listen to in my wee formative years, but not something you dance to. Hell, they weren't even playing the Police or the Cars.

    At my previous school, in eighth grade, when we had parties we'd dance: Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown, the Commodores, the Ohio Players, Parliament. (I'll leave it for the sociologists among us to figure out the demographics of my respective schools.)

    PS: That's a pretty nice article by that "hack." Bummer about the Cup. Screw Chicago.
  11. NER_MCFC

    NER_MCFC Member

    May 23, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks, now I feel really old. ;)

    I find it kind of surprising, but the Cars were kind of cool at my college (back in the last century); people like the Dead Kennedys and REM were more obvious picks. Nonetheless, plenty of folks like the uber-nerds from Boston.

    The mark of a lethal pop band: even their crappy songs are irrestible. Remember 'Shake it Up'? Annoying as hell and oddly appealing all at the same time.
  12. emaj9

    emaj9 New Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    In a Rut
    The Cars...Elliot Easton was a vastly underrated guitarist. Phenomenal.
  13. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My biggest problem with The Cars was that they were the worst live band ever. Great guitar hooks, but every band member's feet were nailed to the floor. And, they've been lost in the shuffle of late 70s / early 80s guitar bands that just stuck more in the public consciousness -- Ramones were more revolutionary, Talking Heads were more intriguing conceptually, The Pretenders rocked harder, and Blondie were more cutting-edge. Everyone in The Cars always looked bored, arrogant, or both.

    They had great hooks, but they're never going to be considered a "Great Band" by music critics. They had one exceptional album, a decent follow-up, and got soft. They were the male Bangles, or The Knack with five years' more shelf life.
  14. wcgcapone

    wcgcapone Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Get The Cars Anthology if you don't already have it.

    I needed someone to feed...
  15. Crimen y Castigo

    May 18, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  16. Stogey23

    Stogey23 Member+

    Dec 12, 1998
    San Diego, CA
    somebody die?
  17. Crimen y Castigo

    May 18, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Their first album was picked in the album draft.
  18. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    4 years later, and Obie still nailed the Cars on the head. But what an album...
  19. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC He said to only look up -- Guster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1. "Just What I Needed" (from The Cars, 1978) – 3:43
    2. "Since You're Gone" (from Shake It Up, 1981) – 3:31
    3. "You Might Think" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 3:04
    4. "Good Times Roll" (from The Cars, 1978) – 3:44
    5. "Touch and Go" (from Panorama, 1980) – 4:54
    6. "Drive" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 3:54
    7. "You're All I Got Tonight" ( from The Cars, 1978 )
    8. "My Best Friend's Girl" (from The Cars, 1978) – 3:44
    9. "Heartbeat City" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 4:29
    10. "Let's Go" (from Candy-O, 1979) – 3:33
    11. "I'm Not the One" (from Shake It Up, 1981) – 3:58
    12. "Magic" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 3:57
    13. "Shake It Up" (from Shake It Up, 1981) – 3:32
    14. "All Mixed Up" (from The Cars, 1978) - 4:14
    15. "It's All I Can Do" (from Candy-O, 1979) - 3:44
    16. "Dangerous Type" (from Candy-O, 1979) – 4:28
    17. "Since You're Gone" (from Shake It Up, 1981) – 3:30
    18. "It's Not the Night" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 3:49
    19. "Magic" (from Heartbeat City, 1984) – 3:57
    Maybe some of you would argue that a few of these songs are not "Greatest Hits" material, but they represent my favorites from the albums released by The Cars.

    Blondie cannot match this number of songs that might qualify as "greatest hits". Talking Heads can, but they were never a "pop" group the way that The Cars were, so their songs are not aimed to have memorable melodies or hooks.

    Here is the list of songs off a Talking Heads "Best of" CD

    1. "Love → Building on Fire" (from single, 1977) – 2:59
    2. "Psycho Killer" (from Talking Heads: 77, 1977) – 4:20
    3. "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town" (from Talking Heads: 77, 1977) – 2:55
    4. "Take Me to the River" (from More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1978) – 5:04
    5. "Found a Job" (from More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1978)– 5:01
    6. "Life During Wartime" (from Fear of Music, 1979) – 3:41
    7. "Heaven" (from Fear of Music, 1979) – 4:01
    8. "Memories Can't Wait" (from Fear of Music, 1979) – 3:30
    9. "Once in a Lifetime" (from Remain in Light, 1979) – 4:20
    10. "Houses in Motion" (from Remain in Light, 1979) – 4:31
    11. "This Must Be the Place " (from Speaking in Tongues, 1983) – 4:56
    12. "Girlfriend Is Better" (from Speaking in Tongues, 1983) – 5:43
    13. "Burning Down the House" (from Speaking in Tongues, 1983) – 4:01
    14. "Road to Nowhere" (from Little Creatures, 1985) – 4:20
    15. "And She Was" (from Little Creatures, 1985) – 3:39
    16. "Wild Wild Life" (from True Stories, 1986) – 3:41
    17. "Blind" (from Naked, 1988) – 5:00
    18. "(Nothing But) Flowers" (from Naked, 1988) – 5:33
    I have all the Talking Heads LPs listed, and I could recall at all, off the top of my head, the tunes of 5 of these songs. I looked them up thru and I immediately recognized them, but it informs me that there are musical groups that kind of embed tunes into your brain and groups that don't. One isn't better than the other, necessarily, but The Cars were a group that wrote hit songs, throughout their career together. One or two of their albums were pretty weak, but included songs that were melodically memorable.

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