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The Cars

4.8 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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The Cars
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Let the Good Times Roll with this must have debut! Just What I Needed and more!

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American art-rock was often stilted and lacking in humor until the New Wave arrived. Liberated by the influence of the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music and punk-era fellow travelers like Blondie and Suicide, the Cars methodically linked hookiness (enough to produce three hit singles and several other FM favorites from this debut album) and at least one raised eyebrow. The result still plays as a rock & roll classic. And if charm wasn't their aim, the fact is, it's undeniable. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GWB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Westley VINE VOICE on June 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Cars formed in Boston circa 1976 and debuted in 1978 with this eponymously titled release. Straddling the line between rock and new wave, the group managed to maintain rock credibility while also racking up some major pop hits. "Just What I Needed" peaked at #27 and has become a rock radio staple. The single is my favorite song of all time - it so perfectly encapsulates the late 70s new wave scene. And it's catchy as hell - I have to turn up the radio whenever I hear it.

The second single, "My Best Friend's Girl," went to #35; the song starts with handclaps before a major synth line kicks into gear. Finally, "Good Times Roll" just missed the Top 40, peaking at #41. However, not a single track is filler - any of them could have been a hit.

I was a little too young in 1978 to become a Cars fan, although I caught them in their pop heyday, when "Drive" was a major hit. I've picked up the rest of their catalog in the last few years, and I've been blown away by the quality of their music, especially "The Cars." Propulsive synths combine seamlessly with the rock-edged guitars to form one of the most distinctive sounds ever. This CD really demonstrates why the Cars became stars - it still sounds completely amazing.

"The Cars" sold very well when first released and was certified platinum in late 1978. Since then, the CD has continued to win fans - with certification for sales of 6 million by 1995. Every time I hear The Killers or other current retro new wave bands, I want to throw on this CD and hear how it was done right the first time around! Most highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
THE CARS (1978) is the The Cars' greatest work ever. Sure, '80's Top 40 pop enthusiasts would probably say that about HEARTBEAT CITY (which did sell more records upon release), but real rock fans rate their debut at the top. Why? Because, just like most great rock debuts (such as BOSTON and VAN HALEN), it shows The Cars in hungry mode, pulling out all the stops to create a hard, edgy, and energetic record that was different from anything else out at the time. This band combined hard guitar-rock with a spacey keyboard-driven New Wave sound (that only then was beginning to emerge) in equal amounts, with straightforward, simple lyrics--and created a sound that was raw yet sleek, edgy but commercially accessible, and totally fresh at that time. Between Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr's similarly cool, unaffected lead vocals, Greg Hawkes' incredibly cool, futuristic keyboards, and Elliot Easton's slicing, awesome guitar-work, this album was truly unique. It influenced countless other New Wave/rock bands afterwards. It has since stood the test of time, and that's what makes it a true classic.
When I first heard THE CARS on a cassette tape 22 years ago, I was already quite familiar with "Just What I Needed." Then, I really got hooked on "Good Times Roll" and "Best Friend's Girl." It wasn't until 1982 that I really started liking "You're All I've Got Tonight" and "Bye Bye Love." The following year, I got into "I'm In Touch With Your World." But it has only been in the past couple of years that I have totally fallen for the medley of "Moving In Stereo/All Mixed Up." Talk about a true classic; over the years, every now and then, it's given me something new to love about it! MOST RECOMMENDED
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Format: Audio CD
THE BAND: Ric Ocasek (vocals, rhythm guitar), Elliot Easton (lead guitar), Benjamin Orr (vocals, bass), Greg Hawkes (keyboards, percussion, saxophone), David Robinson (drums & percussion).

THE DISC: (1978) 9 tracks clocking in at just over 35 minutes. Included with the disc is a minimal 2-page foldout containing song titles/times, band members and original black & white photos/artwork. Digitally remastered in 1990. There is a deluxe remastered 2-disc (disc-2 is all demos) edition released in 1999. Label - Elektra.

COMMENTS: The Cars were never better than this debut album. Rock and pop with a synth/techno alternative flavor. Classic songs that sounded like nothing else at the time. The Cars were "New Wave" before there was New Wave (which hit in the early 80's). 9 songs - with only one question mark (filler?) in "I'm In Touch With Your World". The other 8 tracks were gold (the album reached #18 on the Billboard Pop charts and has sold over 6 million units). Ric Ocasek's quirky voice teamed with bassist Ben Orr's smooth voice worked well together. Greg Hawke on keyboards made & pulled this band tighter. The songs that made it to major air-waves were "Let The Good Times Roll", "My Best Friend's Girl", and "Just What I Needed". But, check out tracks 6-9... "You're All I've Got Tonight", "Bye Bye Love", "Moving In Stereo" and "All Mixed Up" run together fluidly - these are awesome album tracks. Sure this band looked like a bunch of geeks, but man when they came together with their instruments, they really made some beautiful music. Only their 2nd album "Candy-O" came close, but no album of the Cars was better than this one. This debut is ranked #282 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 500 all-time greatest albums. R.I.P. Benjamin Orr (10/3/00). Classic disc (5 stars).
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