Friday, May 13, 2011

On my turntable: The Cars

The Cars (1978)
My next five days are all about The Cars. On Tuesday I will see the band perform at my favorite venue in the world (First Avenue), but most importantly, I'm going to see the band perform!!

I remember the day I found out Ben Orr (Cars bassist and co-lead singer) had died. I was in a doctors office flipping through People magazine and found a short blurb about his death. I was outraged before I was sad -- how could such an important figure in rock music pass away so secretly? How did I not know about this? My sadness was not just about losing someone from my youth, it was also the realization that I would never get to see a Cars reunion.

But sometimes hell freezes over and pigs fly. Today (according to's estimated delivery date) I am expecting the arrival of the *NEW* Cars LP Move Like This (2011) at my doorstep. In celebration of this most auspicious event I'm spinning through the band's catalog, beginning with one of the greatest debut albums of all time, 1978's The Cars.

This album reminds me of summer, shooting hoops in the driveway of my parents' house. My brother had a stereo set up in the garage, and this was one of the albums that got a lot of play. The trio of songs that open the album are an indisputable powerhouse: "Good Times Roll", "My Best Friend's Girl", "Just What I Needed".  Bam, Bam, BAM! The rest of the album became FM classic rock standards. Was "You're All I've Got Tonight" even a single? It seems to me that the song got a lot of airplay on our local 'album-rock' station. The bottom line: very few bands have the fortune of seeing their debut album become as iconic as this one.

Breaking Update: My Move Like This LP just arrived and it's very fancy!!  Review to come...

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