The Cars were an anomaly in the ’70s, when they first came out of Boston: a synth-driven New Wave group that was fully embraced by traditional rock radio. It helped that their songs were based on familiar pop hooks often powered by rock ‘n’ roll muscle. Singers Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr injected the songs with both robotic coldness and human warmth. As MTV reached its cultural impact in the mid-’80s, the Cars became even bigger, scoring four Top 10 hits before they disbanded in 1988. (Some of the members reunited with Todd Rundgren as the New Cars 17 years later.) Orr died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 53.
Selected Discography: 'The Cars' (1978), 'Candy-O' (1979), 'Heartbeat City' (1984)
It's just about impossible to talk about Boston rock without mentioning Aerosmith and the Cars — and the Boston musicians who helped put together the Boston Herald's list of the 101 greatest songs ever to come out of the city would seem to agree.
They started the '80s on a relative low note, with the critical and commercial comedown of 1980's poorly received 'Panorama' album, but the Cars bounced back with 'Shake It Up' the following year -- and then they really hit their stride with 'Heartbeat City.'
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