Let’s Go – The Cars | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#14); 1979

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Most new wave style bands were either no-shows on the pop charts or “one hit wonders.” The Cars mined the same pop-rock vein and struck gold. Founders Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr met at a party in Cleveland and, together with Greg Hawkes on keyboards, recorded two folk-leaning albums as Milkwood in the early 1970’s.

Shifting their base of operations to Boston, Ocasek and Orr and guitarist Elliot Easton made the rounds as Cap’n Swing while Hawkes worked with comedian Martin Mull.

When drummer David Robinson – formerly of the Modern Lovers – came on board and Hawkes returned, the band reached critical mass; changing their name, recording demos, playing the Rat Club, and opening for Bob Seger.

With producer Roy Thomas Baker, producer of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, behind the console, the Cars unleashed two near-perfect albums in 1978 and 1979. Let’s Go kicked off their sophomore effort Candy-O, and exemplifies the group’s instantly recognizable sound.

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