Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Flashback - The Cars Eponymous First Album

Today I want to talk about The Cars first album released in 1978 that was simply titled The Cars. Some of the band members had played with each other in various local bands in the Boston area but came together as The Cars in 1976. Two years later they released their first album and it was chock full of catchy new wavish hits. The first track was "Good Times Roll" and it set the tone for what was to follow. I'm having trouble finding actual videos from this first album and after wading through scores of Rock Band and cover copies I have elected to go with live videos instead (real brave since it seems to be my only option).

Track listing

Side one
"Good Times Roll"
"My Best Friend's Girl"
"Just What I Needed"
"I'm in Touch with Your World"
"Don't Cha Stop"

Side two
"You're All I've Got Tonight"
"Bye Bye Love"
"Moving in Stereo" (Greg Hawkes, Ocasek)
"All Mixed Up"

Band members:
Elliot Easton – lead guitar, backing vocals
Greg Hawkes – keyboards, percussion, saxophone, backing vocals
Ric Ocasek – rhythm guitar, lead vocals on side one, tracks 1, 2, 4 and 5, side two, track 1
Benjamin Orr – bass, lead vocals on side one, track 3, side two, tracks 2, 3 and 4
David Robinson – drums, percussion, backing vocals

Just from memory I can say that the first 3 tracks from both sides of the album are outstanding. The other 3 I don't remember as well so I had no choice but to go to my vinyl and check them out. "I'm In Touch With Your World" is a quirky, unusual song and I would have to say it's my least favorite song on the album. "Don't Cha Stop" is a faster paced song and is a nice way to end the 1st side of the album but it comes in just underneath the better songs like "You're All I've Got Tonight" and "Just What I Needed." "All Mixed Up" is okay but I'd say it's my 2nd least favorite song. Strangely enough I couldn't find even any live video of "You're All I've Got Tonight" which is one of my favorite Cars songs.

We'll just have to leave it at that for now. 6 Outstanding songs, 1 good song and 2 I don't care as much for but to be honest, I can listen to the complete album from beginning to the end and enjoy it all. Their sound was a sort of new wave, sort of straight ahead rock leaning with just a bit of pop influences that was very catchy. They had some great hooks and very good lyrics. It's too bad that The Cars are another of a plethora of bands that I never got to see play live. Not only that I missed a chance to see The New Cars featuring Hawkes and Easton during their all too brief history. It just goes to show you, don't pass up the chance because you never know if you'll get another one.

No comments: