The Cars

~ Group


The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson.

The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synthesizer-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flourish in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described the Cars' musical style by saying: "they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the '50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend."

The Cars were named "Best New Artist" in the 1978 Rolling Stone Readers' Poll and won "Video of the Year" for "You Might Think" at the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984. Their debut album, The Cars, sold six million copies and appeared on the Billboard 200 album chart for 139 weeks. As of 2001, the Cars have sold over 23 million albums in the United States.

The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek later discouraged talk of a reunion. Orr died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer. In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, the New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. The original surviving members reunited in 2010 to record a new album, Move Like This, which was released in May 2011, followed by a short tour. In 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1978 The Cars 4.65 12
1979 Candy‐O 3.5 8
1980 Panorama 2 5
1981 Shake It Up 3 6
1984 Heartbeat City 4.5 11
1987 Door to Door 3
2011 Move Like This 1 4

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1985 The Cars Greatest Hits 3.5 10
1995 Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology 2
2001 Shake It Up and Other Hits 1
2002 Complete Greatest Hits 1
2002 The Definitive 1
2002 The Very Best of The Cars 1
2005 The Essentials 1
2010 Original Album Series (The Cars) 1
2014 Studio Album Collection: 1978-1987 1
2016 The Elektra Years: 1978-1987 1
2016 Moving in Stereo: The Best of The Cars 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2006 Unlocked: The Live Performances 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1978 Good Times Roll 1
1978 Just What I Needed 1
1978 My Best Friend's Girl 1
1979 It’s All I Can Do 1
1979 Let's Go 1
1982 Since You're Gone 2
1984 Drive 1
1984 Hello Again 1
1984 Magic / I Refuse 1
1985 Why Can't I Have You / Breakaway 1
1985 Tonight She Comes 1

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