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Heartbeat City

4.2 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Heartbeat City
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$7.06 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by skyvo-direct-usa and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: CARS
Title: HEARTBEAT CITY
Street Release Date: 07/07/1987
Domestic
Genre: ROCK/POP

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Buddy Holly-meets-Roxy Music was the hook-filled formula Ric Ocasek and crew fell into on their classic 1978 debut--and it's one they continued to milk throughout the first half of the '80s. As in any formula, it seemed to dilute a bit with each subsequent release. Heartbeat City, however, saw the Cars shaking things up a bit and scoring three hit singles in the process. "You Might Think" does have that same old Cars pop sound, but "Magic" and especially "Drive" sound unlike anything the Boston band had previously recorded. The album proved to be a rebirth of sorts...as well as a final hurrah. Following their Greatest Hits package, the Cars would fade away following 1987's Door to Door. --Bill Holdship
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002H1T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on July 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Beaches, convertibles, MTV showing real videos. Think Andy Warhol flash-cutting grainy images to "Hello Again." Watch Ric Ocasek walk on water during "Magic." Think of cruising to "You Might Think." And remain in awe of the late Ben Orr's best vocal since the debut, on the groundbreaking smash ballad, "Drive."

That's what makes The Cars' final great album, "Heartbeat City," their most consistent album since that perfect first disc. It marked a creative highwater level in the band's evolution, mixing in the best of their Buddy Holly pop with their "Panorama" darkness. It also moved away from their Roy Thomas Baker sterile sheen to "Mutt" Lange's polished pop glow (he who made Def Leppard both shattering and melodic) and fed it to the masses as fantastic cotton candy summer tunes. Place this record next to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," Huey Lewis' "Sports," ZZ Top's "Eliminator," Van Halen's "1984" and Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," and you had the party records that stuck in your memory for that year.

"Heartbeat City" still holds fast to its best moments. It gave The Cars' their biggest seller to that date, and their highest charting single. But it also gave them one of the most haunting songs in their canon, with the mysterious title track.
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Format: Audio CD
When The Cars entered the music scene they were part of the New Wave music that would become the dominant music of the 80s. However, as happens with many variations on a theme, New Wave became the New Pop as pop music realigned itself with New Wave influence. As the 80s drew to a close, new wave began to sound like old hat, and a little dated as the newness wore off the no longer novel sound of synthesizers imitating a host of instruments with occasional sound effects.

"Heartbeat City" was released in 1984 as pop was starting to realign itself to the influence of New Wave. Change is not accepted well by many people, and thus this CD (read "album" as in vinyl album at the time) was not well-received by some of The Cars earliest fans, who saw it as more pop than New Wave. However, if you take this CD and pretend it was released in 1980, it would not have been considered pop and would have been another then sort of counter-culture album.

So when you read reviews, consider whether the writer is being objective regarding the CD or whether they are expressing their opinion of how the CD was received by the public at the time. If you are a rebel in any era, the last thing you want to hear is that one of your icons was accepted by "The Establishment".

Forgetting the context of when the album was released, this album is classic New Wave 80s music. Several of the songs are instantly recognizable as pop classics that will forever be among the greatest pop songs ever recorded, albeit with the 80s New Wave flavor.

Probably the three most readily recognizable of the songs are "Drive", which would be a great song in any era, "Magic", which also has a truly great video to go with it, and "You Might Think".
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Format: Audio CD
5 stars for the album.
5 stars for the sound quality
1 star for the HDCD glitch and missing segues between songs
2 stars for the artwork which is missing the lyrics.
-Average of 3 stars.
***

A classic album "Heartbeat City" may or may not be the best album the Cars released but one thing for certain it's the most controversial reissue in recent memory. Steve Hoffman remastered this CD from the original master tapes and the result is stunning if also stunningly frustrating for many fans; the album has better detail and a terrific, wide dynamic range BUT the original album had all the tracks with running into each other with minimal gaps. Hoffman's version of the album, however, doesn't. The songs fade out and have the gaps you would traditionally expect between the tracks.

Three additional problems have cropped up one with the HDCD encoding. Evidently the HDCD encoding is flawed--with the CD shifting out of HDCD mode unexpectedly as the volume goes down on a track. That won't be a problem IF you don't have an HDCD player.

The next issue is that if you rip this CD to your iPod (perhaps due to the encoding error)the tracks are missing small sections of the music. I haven't ripped my edition to my iPod yet but others have and have had problems.

The final problem is a simple one that Audio Fidelity immediately addressed; evidently the CDs were shipped without the lyrics (the original album had the lyrics on the sleeve that held the vinyl record). There have also been some complaints that the scan of the artwork is a bit shoddy but I that wasn't an issue on my copy. Audio Fidelity will be shipping out a lyric booklet to those who purchsed this CD just contact them at their website or call them.

So why three stars?
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