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 their next release, 1984's 'Heartbeat City.'
Released on March 13, 1984, the band's fifth studio LP
By most accounts, Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr's first band was a total failure. In 1976, the duo -- which actually went by the name Ocasek & Orr at first -- picked up a few members, became Cap'n Swing and gigged around Boston. But they didn't really catch on. By the end of the year they had a new name, and on New Year's Eve, they made their public debut. It was only a matter of time before the Cars would drive straight onto radio playlists.
Although it's tempting to consider the Cars' top songs just their entire 1978 debut and call it a day, the Boston quintet had more to offer than nervy post-punk/classic rock hybrids. As their career progressed, the band dabbled in moody new
Czech-American model Paulina Porizkova came to fame in the '80s, appearing in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue several times. But she attracted a whole new audience while appearing in the video for the Cars' 1984 single, 'Drive,' as an emotionally distraught woman.
In celebration of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park, members of the Boston Red Sox pitch in on the commemorative album, '100 Year Anniversary of Fenway Park,' singing and performing songs by Boston bands such as the Cars and Aerosmith.
The Cars set the bar rather high for themselves with their 1978 self-titled debut: Out of the album’s nine songs, seven of them remain AOR staples to this day. Perhaps the most indelible of those tunes, however, is ‘Just What I Needed.’
If there is one thing that up and coming bluegrass band Punch Brothers can take comfort in should their pursuit of a career writing original music fall flat, it is that they can pull off one hell of a great cover song, as they did recently with their rendition of 'Just What I Needed' by the Cars.
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