Good Times Roll – The Cars | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#41); 1979

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The Cars’ Richard Otcasek and Ben Orzechowski began their road to fame as a duo in Ohio before moving to Boston. There they recorded an album as Milkwood, which also included future Cars member Greg Hawkes.

Several groups later, the three united with Elliot Easton in Cap’n Swing and were soon joined by ex-Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson, who suggested the new automotive name.

After Boston’s progressive radio station, WBCN-FM, started spinning a demo of Just What I Needed, Elektra Records signed ’em up and sent them into the studio.

Recorded in just 12 days in London, the Cars’ debut album – helmed by Roy Thomas Baker, who’d worked on Bohemian Rhapsody – was the minimalist counterpart to Queen’s multi-layered production.

The first three singles – Just What I Needed, My Best Friend’s Girl, and Good Times Roll – quickly became staples of rock radio, while the album sold over six million copies and stayed on the chart for over six years.

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:

  • Roy Thomas Baker

Lyrics Written by:

  • Ric Ocasek