“… We were just another band out of Boston…
On the road to try to make ends meet.
Playin’ all the bars, sleepin’ in our cars…”
This lyric from Boston’s “Rock & Roll Band” is fitting for a lot of groups who came out of New England… But that’s not who we’re talking about today…
While being one of the best studio bands of all time, I can say after two concerts The Cars were one of the worst live bands I have ever seen. The last time I saw them, which I think was on the Heartbeat City tour, the crowd began to chant for Wang Chung, the warmup band, to come back. Oops.
It was not the musicianship that was off, just the fact that they were boring. There was no interaction with the crowd and they just moved from song to song.
With that said, they are still one of my favorite bands to listen to, and a big influence on my youthful days. You will also note that I do not shy away from 80s music and my absolute love and joy for New Wave. Hey, this is what I heard on the radio and it left a lasting impression.
But don’t just take my opinion… The Cars debut album, self titled The Cars, in 1978 is a Rock n’ Roll classic! And their follow-up Candy-O was no sophomore slump. I will almost guarantee you do not move the dial when they come on the radio.
Punk… New Wave… Rock n’ Roll… The Cars easily merged lanes and put it all together for a great vinyl spin. The 80s seemed to love the synthesizer and when used right, like here, it was all right!
My only regret about the band was not being more forceful with my Dad. We were in Caldor one day … an old department store on Route 4 in Paramus… (I think it was Caldor and not Korvets)… when I noticed a line of people and motley bunch of guys sitting at a table. I asked someone what was going on, and they told me The Cars were signing their album. This was the release of their first record, and I will admit I had not heard of them at that point… but never shying way from a potential collectible, I wanted to get in line and stay. My father had other ideas and convinced me I did not need a signed album by a band I had not yet heard of… DOH!!! That would have been a nice item to have… Ahhh…
RIP Benjamin Orr… and thanks to Elliot Easton for the good za at Red Balls Rock n’ Roll Pizza on Topanga.
No need to go track-by-track here as each of the nine are a gem… Moving in Stereo is my fave… followed my You’re All I’ve Got Tonight and then the radio hits… Just What I Needed… Let the Good Times Roll and My Best Friend’s Girl.
If it’s been a while since you heard this one from start to finish… go put it on and enjoy what most, including myself consider a Rock n’ Roll classic!!!