Drive – The Cars | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story, and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop(#3) and Adult Contemporary (#1) ; 1984

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

On July 13th, 1985 at 5:49PM The Cars took the Live Aid stage at Philadelphia’s JFK stadium. Of the four songs they performed, three were from 1984’s multi-platinum-selling Heartbeat City: the title tune, You Might Think, and Drive.

Drive – like the others – had been written by Ric Ocasek; unlike the others, bassist Benjamin Orr sang lead on it rather than Ocasek. Upon its original release, Drive‘s companion video, featuring Czechoslovakian model Paulina Porizkova, received heavy airplay on MTV.

Many, however, remember a far more impactful Drive video moment. During the Live Aid broadcast from London’s Wembley Stadium, David Bowie introduced a heartbreaking montage of famine images from Ethiopia; accompanied by Drive.

Subsequently, Drive became a Top 5 hit for a second time in England and all royalties were donated to the Live Aid Trust. Four years later Pauline married the man she met while filming the Drive video: Ben Orr.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Robert John “Mutt” Lange
  • the Cars

Lyrics Written by:

  • Ric Ocasek