The Cars Biography
The Cars are a popular American new wave/power pop band that began in 1976 and has gone through various versions since then. In 1977, the band was signed to Elektra Records and formed in Boston, Massachusetts. David Robinson (drummer), Benjamin Orr (singer/bassist), Ric Ocasek (singer/rhythm guitarist), Elliot Easton (lead guitarist), and Greg Hawkes (keyboardist) were the initial members of the band.
The Cars had their first gig on December 31, 1976, at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire, and spent early 1977 touring throughout New England, honing the songs that would eventually appear on their debut album. Early in 1977, a nine-song demo tape was created, and “Just What I Needed” was soon gaining a lot of playing on Boston radio stations WBCN and WCOZ. Arista Records and Elektra Records both offered the band record deals as a result of their airing. Due to Elektra’s lack of new wave performers, the band was able to stand out more than on Arista, which featured a lot of new wave artists. The Cars, the band’s debut album, was released in June 1978 and charted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200. The album’s first single, “Just What I Needed,” was followed by “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Good Times Roll,” both of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Several album tracks gained significant radio, including “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Moving in Stereo.”
During their career, they have released seven albums: The Cars (1978), Candy-O (1979), Panorama (1980), Shake It Up (1981), Heartbeat City (1984), Door to Door (1987) and Move Like This (2011). The RIAA declared all five of these albums platinum, and their self-titled debut was one of the best-selling albums of the 1970s, spending nearly a year on the Billboard album charts. With the album Heartbeat City and the popular MTV classics “You Might Think,” “Magic,” and “Drive,” they received a second wave of popularity in 1984. “Drive” was their highest-charting single, landing at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The trio issued a greatest hits album in 1985, which included the mega-hit “Tonight She Comes,” which reached #1 on Billboard’s ‘Top Rock Tracks’ chart. They disappeared from the public eye following that height, working on solo projects and releasing one final album, Door to Door, before dissolving up in early 1988.
In October of 2000, Benjamin Orr died of pancreatic cancer. Elliot Easton, a guitarist, was a member of a surf band before joining Creedence Clearwater Revisted, a touring act made up of ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival musicians. Ric Ocasek, the Cars’ lead vocalist, married supermodel Paulina Porizkova not long after the band’s breakup and has since worked as a producer on records by Bad Brains, Weezer, Guided by Voices, and No Doubt. He’s also released a number of solo albums, the most recent of which was Nexterday in 2005. The New Cars, composed of Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton, Todd Rundgren, and his rhythm section, have recently released a live record and are now on the road. Ocasek lent his support to the band but is otherwise uninvolved.
In 2010, the remaining members got together to make a new album, Move Like This, which was released on May 10, 2011. Sad Song was released as the album’s first single. On March 1, 2011, it was broadcast on the radio for the first time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is The Girl On The Cover Of The Cars?
The girl on the cover of the Cars is a mystery. She is not one of the band members and her identity has never been revealed. She has become an iconic image associated with the band and their music.
Who Was The Cars Original Lead Singer?
The original lead singer for the Cars was Ric Ocasek. He was also the band’s primary songwriter and guitarist. Ocasek wrote or co-wrote almost all of the band’s hits, including “Just What I Needed,” “Drive,” and “You Might Think.” He sang lead vocals on most of the band’s tracks, except for a few which were sung by bassist Benjamin Orr. After the Cars disbanded in 1988, Ocasek pursued a solo career and released several albums. He died in 2019 at the age of 75.
How Many Members Of The Cars?
The band originally consisted of four members: Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, and David Robinson. The Cars were one of the most popular bands of the 1980s, and their 1984 album Heartbeat City is considered one of the classic albums of that decade.
What Type Of Genre Of The Cars?
The Cars are considered new wave, pop rock, and power pop.