Sunday, May 15, 2011

On my turntable: The Cars - Heartbeat City

With Heartbeat City (1984) The Cars were propelled into a whole new level of famedom.  High rotation on MTV kept the band in the public eye long enough for the LP to generate five hit singles: "You Might Think" (which had a highly inventive and eye-catching video), "Magic", "Drive", "Hello Again", and "Why Can't I Have You". 

I remember this album very well, even though I never bought it until this morning. My brother bought the album when it was released in the spring of '84 and I was a senior in high school. Over the summer when my bro was home from college I heard Heartbeat City and Purple Rain a lot. In the fall when I myself went off to college I heard Heartbeat City constantly in the dorm. Thus, I never felt compelled to own the album until this weekend when my Cars marathon came to a screeching halt following Shake It Up. Luckily it's not a tough album to find - the store I visited had about 20 very nice copies collecting dust in the racks.

I find it so interesting how albums can become virtual time-capsules of our lives, especially if the music shares our space for a specific, concentrated period. It's probably been 26 years since I've heard Heartbeat City from start to finish, so hearing it today brought back a flood of very vivid memories from 84-85.  One song after another it was like a rusty door in my memory was being opened, and I was almost 18 again.

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