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The Cars Albums Ranked Worst to Best

Even though the above gallery of the Cars Albums Ranked Worst to Best traces a supernova career, they started out on a much smaller scale.

Singers Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr met while knocking around the Cleveland area, and eventually worked in a series of bands with names like the Grasshoppers, Milkwood, Richard and the Rabbits and Cap’n Swing. In time, and after a move to Massachusetts, the Cars began to coalesce. For instance, future keyboardist Greg Hawkes was part of Richard and the Rabbits; later, Cap’n Swing boasted the first tastes of the band’s soon-patented blend of pop, classic rock and art-rock.

They played their first show as the Cars on New Year’s Eve 1976. By the summer of 1978, they had released one of the most celebrated debut albums in rock history, a six-times platinum self-titled project that plays like an instant greatest-hits package.

Even then, however, Orr admitted that the main thing he’d always dreamed of was “having a record on Cleveland radio stations.” The Cars, whose next four albums would also go platinum, were soon on everybody’s dial. “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think,” “Drive” and “Tonight She Comes” all raced into the Top 10, even as they traded some of the nervy grit that surrounded their Roy Thomas Baker-produced early records for Mutt Lange’s sleek, modern approach.

Heartbeat City, from 1984, became their biggest hit – and perhaps their biggest albatross. Ocasek and Orr focused on solo work for a time after that, releasing only one more album together before Orr tragically died of cancer in 2000. Almost 25 years after 1987’s Door to Door, the Cars reunited for the well-received Move Like This, though they notably refused to replace Orr.

So, which one of those classic records tops our list? Click through the above gallery to see the Cars Albums Ranked Worst to Best.

Next: Top 10 Cars Songs

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