On this day in music history: June 6, 1978 – “…

On this day in music history: June 6, 1978 – “The Cars”, the debut album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker. it is recorded at AIR Studios in London in February 1978. Written over a period of two years, the material that makes up The Cars debut release are largely composed by guitarist and primary lead vocalist Ric Ocasek and bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr. The bands demo of the track “Just What I Needed” receives airplay on local Boston radio station WCBN, which creates enough buzz to attract the attention of Elektra Records who sign them. Paired with producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Free). They travel to London to record at George Martin’s AIR Studios. Recorded in just two weeks worth of studio time, the first album by the Boston based new wave/rock band becomes a staple of album oriented rock radio (AOR), soon after its release and beyond. It spins off three singles including “Just What I Needed” (#27 Pop), “Good Times Roll” (#41 Pop), and “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35 Pop) and spends over two and a half years (139 weeks) on the Billboard pop album chart. The albums iconic cover photo features a shot of Russian born model Natalya Medvedeva. Regarded as a landmark new wave rock album, it is The Cars best selling studio release. The track “Moving In Stereo” is further immortalized when it used to great comic effect in the 80’s teen comedy “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”. The song is featured in a sequence when Brad (Judge Reinhold) is fantasizing about Linda (Phoebe Cates)  while gazing at her out of the bathroom window. The scene ends with Linda accidentally walking in on Brad in the bathroom, catching him red handed. The album is first remastered and reissued on CD in 1999 as two disc deluxe edition with the original nine song album on the first disc. The second CD features thirteen bonus tracks including live performances and demos. It is also released as a hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2015. “The Cars” is also reissued on vinyl by Rhino Records in January of 2016, as part of their “Start Your Ear Off Right” series, pressing the LP on blue translucent vinyl, also replicating the original packaging and inner sleeve. Another colored vinyl pressing (yellow) of the album is issued as part of the box set "The Elektra Years – 1978 – 1987” in June of 2016. “The Cars” peaks at number eighteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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