From the Vault...


The Cars
"Heartbeat City"

© Elektra/Asylum Records

Year of Release: 1984

track listing
  • Hello Again
  • Looking For Love
  • Magic
  • Drive
  • Stranger Eyes
  • You Might Think
  • It's Not The Night
  • Why Can't I Have You
  • I Refuse
  • Heartbeat City

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    The Cars
    "Heartbeat City"

    The Cars are back with their popular album release from 1984 -- Heartbeat City. They had seven hit singles from this album, as they did receive quite a bit or radio airplay. "You Might Think" was very popular, likewise it's video, as MTV was hitting it big with the hits at the time, and their videos. "Magic," "Drive," "Hello Again," "Why Can't I Have You" and the title track were the remaining hits.

    "Looking For Love" was one of the lesser-known songs; it was also covered by Austrian singer Falco ("Rock Me Armadeus"). Other lesser-known songs were "Stranger Eyes" (which was in the movie Top Gun, but did not appear on it's soundtrack); "It's Not Tonight," "Why Can't I Have You," (although a hit, I don't really remember it), and "I Refuse" all have the common Cars sound, but not as popular as their other well-known songs.

    "Drive" was a huge hit, a wonderful ballad, with the lead vocals by bass player Benjamin Orr. Although the main vocals were handled by Ric Ocasek, "Drive" would one of be the band's most memorable hits. Sad to say, he passed away of pancreatic cancer in the year 2000. He was 53.

    The hit songs are the standouts on Heartbeat City. The videos were even more enjoyable, in the MTV era. "Hello Again, "Magic," "Drive," "You Might Think," and the title track are the enjoyable, and most memorable from this album. The Cars would release two more albums after Heartbeat City, as the band would break up in 1988. In the 1990s, both Orr and Ocasek would release solo albums. Ocasek would release a total of seven solo albums. Other members would retire (David Robinson, drummer), as Elliot Easton (lead guitar) and Greg Hawks (keyboardist) would both work with Todd Rundgren, and The Tubes'/Journey Prairie Prince. A New Cars lineup would emerge in the 2000 decade, to perform classic Cars songs, new original material and Rundgren covers. The Cars would become part of the video game Rock Band, in 2008.

    A reunion of the surviving original members would emerge in 2010. New songs were written and recorded, and in 2011, their newest album was released, entitled Move Like This. The album reached #7, and it was announced that a small tour was to start later in the year. Ric Ocasek would remaster the Cars music in 2016. Their music has been classified as "new wave, pop rock, prtopunk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop." More recognized as new wave and/or punk, the Cars would become one of the best bands from the late 1970s. Their influence has been seen and heard from many bands since their existence. Such bands include Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Melvins, Red House Painters, Akaline Trio, Ziggy Marley, Poison, Hayseed Dixie, Scorpions, The Strokes. More recently, in 2015, the Cars were announced as one of the nominees in the 2016 induction of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

    The Cars have been a very popular band. I remember playing their debut album constantly. The albums after that, up to Heartbeat City has achieved other well-known popular songs: Candy-O, Panorama, Shake It Up all achieved one or more huge hits for the group, and received heavy airplay, especially on FM radio. Their songs are still played on Classic Rock stations. The Cars deserved to be in the Rock Hall of Fame, as they would be one of the best bands from the late-1970s decade. Whether classified as New Wave or Punk, they are a part of the Rock & Roll Hall.

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    Previous Review: #1511
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