Category: the cars

On this day in music history: August 15, 1980 …

On this day in music history: August 15, 1980 – “Panorama”, the third album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1980. The Boston based Rock/New Wave band’s third effort marks a departure from the sound they have established with their two previous multi-platinum albums (“The Cars”, “Candy-O”), going with a more aggressive and experimental style. The reaction from critics and fans is mixed, resulting in lower sales than they have previously experienced. The album spins off three singles including “Touch And Go” (#37 Pop), “Don’t Tell Me No” and “Gimme Some Slack”. Originally released on CD the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as part of “The Cars – The Elektra Years” box set (also issued on vinyl) in June of 2016. It is also issued separately on CD with four additional bonus tracks, and as a 180 gram double vinyl LP in July of 2017. “Panorama” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: June 12, 1979 – …

On this day in music history: June 12, 1979 – “Candy-O”, the second album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA in February 1979. Released six days shy of one year after their self-titled debut, The Cars’ sophomore album is recorded shortly after the band come off of the promotional tour for the first one. With their first album still sitting comfortably in the Top 30 on the Billboard Top 200, the bands’ label Elektra Records wants to hold back the release for several more months until the others momentum begins to wane. However, with Ric Ocasek already writing songs for the next album, they are insistent that Elektra not delay the release. Like their debut, “Candy-O” features all newly material written by Ocasek and bassist Benjamin Orr, with the leftover songs from the first being scrapped in favor of the new ones. Working once again with producer Roy Thomas Baker, The Cars take a slightly different approach, wanting to make their sophomore “less slick” sounding than the previous one, and also being more democratic in choosing the final group of songs the album. Initially, the track “Double Life” was going to be dropped, but when the other band members outvote Ocasek, it is reinstated. The albums striking cover artwork is illustrated by artist Alberto Vargas, famous for his paintings appearing in major publications including Playboy and Esquire magazines. Drummer David Robinson suggests to his band mates that they hire the then 83 year old artist, who agrees to come out of retirement to create the cover. The model featured in the painting is actress Candy Moore, best known for playing Lucille Ball’s daughter Chris on the 60’s sitcom “The Lucy Show”. Having previously been married to actor Paul Gleason (“The Breakfast Club”, “Die Hard”), Moore and Robinson date briefly not long after the release of “Candy-O”. The new album is well received by fans and critics alike, spinning off three singles, including “Let’s Go” (#14 Pop) and “It’s All I Can Do” (#41 Pop). First released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 24K gold CD and 180 gram LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2011. It is also issued on colored vinyl (red) as part of the box set “The Elektra Years – 1978 -1987 in 2016. In 2017, album is remastered again (supervised by Ric Ocasek), and reissued in expanded editions as a double CD or double vinyl LP set. The expanded editions contain alternate mixes and non album B-sides. The vinyl edition features laser etched artwork on the fourth side. "Candy-O” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

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.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: March 13, 1984 -…

On this day in music history: March 13, 1984 – “Heartbeat City”, the fifth album by The Cars is released. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and The Cars, it is recorded at Battery Studios in London from July 1983 – January 1984. Following the release of their fourth album “Shake It Up” and the subsequent tour, The Cars take a year off to rest, and for band members Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes to work on solo projects. When they reunite in mid 1983, they relocate to London to work with producer “Mutt” Lange, fresh off of his successes with AC/DC and Def Leppard. After working with Roy Thomas Baker on their previous albums, the band find that Lange works in a far different manner. Meticulously building the rhythm tracks from the ground up, drummer David Robinson does not play live drums on the album at all, instead the drum tracks are created from samples of drums and played back through a Fairlight CMI synthesizer. Without losing their quirky and eclectic edge, the band create an albums worth of songs (written almost entirely by Ocasek alone) that maintain those qualities, but are radio friendly and accessible. It spins off five singles including “You Might Think” (#7 Pop), “Magic” (#12 Pop), “Drive” (#3 Pop) and “Hello Again” (#20 Pop, #8 Club Play). The singles are supported by a series of clever eye catching music videos beginning with the first single “You Might Think”. The clip is directed by Jeff Stein (“The Kids Are Alright”) and features fashion model Susan Gallagher. The tongue in cheek video is one of the first to utilize computer generated graphics and effects. The clip is an instant hit on MTV, and later in 1984 wins the very first VMA award for Video Of The Year. The videos for “Magic”, which features Ocasek appearing to walk on water, “Drive” featuring model Paulina Porizkova (later married to Ric Ocasek) and directed by Oscar winning actor Timothy Hutton. “Hello Again” is directed by and featuring a cameo by pop art icon Andy Warhol. All four videos become staples on MTV, and other music video channels throughout the year. “Heartbeat City” also spins off an accompanying home video release, featuring all of the clips made for the album (with the clips of “Panorama” and “Shake It Up” added) and a featurette on the making of the “Hello Again” video. The album cover outer gatefold features the painting “Art-O-Matic Loop Di Loop” by English pop artist Peter Phillips. The album is remastered and reissued as a hybrid SACD and as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2016. The album is also reissued as an expanded deluxe edition in 2018. “Heartbeat City” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 6, 1981…

On this day in music history: November 6, 1981 – “Shake It Up”, the fourth album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at Syncro Sound Studios in Boston, MA from Spring – Fall 1981. The Boston based band’s fourth release is in a more commercial and pop oriented vein than their previous release, the hard edged and experimental “Panorama”. Recording in their newly purchased Syncro Sound Studios (formerly Intermedia Studios), it also is The Cars last album to be produced by long time producer Roy Thomas Baker. It spins off two hit singles including “Since You’re Gone” (#41 Pop) and the title track (#4 Pop), which is their first Top 10 hit and their highest charting single to date. The song “I’m Not The One” is belatedly released as a single in early 1986 (in remixed form) as part of their “Greatest Hits” album. In 2009, audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remasters and reissues the album on CD and vinyl, packaging the CD edition in a mini-LP sleeve. The album is also reissued on CD and vinyl by Rhino Records in June of 2016, as part of “The Elektra Years 1978-1987” box set, compiling all six of their studio albums. The album is remastered and reissued on CD and as double LP set in March of 2018. The new expanded reissue features eight additional bonus tracks, including demos, early takes of songs, and the aforementioned remix of “I’m Not The One”. A limited number of copies of the vinyl release come pressed on red vinyl. Shake It Up" peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 15, 1980 …

On this day in music history: August 15, 1980 – “Panorama”, the third album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1980. The Boston based Rock/New Wave band’s third effort marks a departure from the sound they have established with their two previous multi-platinum albums (“The Cars”, “Candy-O”), going with a more aggressive and experimental style. The reaction from critics and fans is mixed, resulting in lower sales than they have previously experienced. The album spins off three singles including “Touch And Go” (#37 Pop), “Don’t Tell Me No” and “Gimme Some Slack”. Originally released on CD the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as part of “The Cars – The Elektra Years” box set (also issued on vinyl) in June of 2016. It is also issued separately on CD with four additional bonus tracks, and as a 180 gram double vinyl LP in July of 2017. “Panorama” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: June 12, 1979 – …

On this day in music history: June 12, 1979 – “Candy-O”, the second album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA in February 1979. Released six days shy of one year after their self-titled debut, The Cars’ sophomore album is recorded shortly after the band come off of the promotional tour for the first one. With their first album still sitting comfortably in the Top 30 on the Billboard Top 200, the bands’ label Elektra Records wants to hold back the release for several more months until the others momentum begins to wane. However, with Ric Ocasek already writing songs for the next album, they are insistent that Elektra not delay the release. Like their debut, “Candy-O” features all newly material written by Ocasek and bassist Benjamin Orr, with the leftover songs from the first being scrapped in favor of the new ones. Working once again with producer Roy Thomas Baker, The Cars take a slightly different approach, wanting to make their sophomore “less slick” sounding than the previous one, and also being more democratic in choosing the final group of songs the album. Initially, the track “Double Life” was going to be dropped, but when the other band member outvote Ocasek, it is reinstated. The albums striking cover artwork is illustrated by artist Alberto Vargas, famous for his paintings appearing in major publications including Playboy and Esquire magazines. Drummer David Robinson suggests to his band mates that they hire the then 83 year old artist, who agrees to come out of retirement to create the cover. The model featured in the painting is actress Candy Moore, best known for playing Lucille Ball’s daughter Chris on the 60’s sitcom “The Lucy Show”. Having previously been married to actor Paul Gleason (“The Breakfast Club”, “Die Hard”), Moore and Robinson date briefly not long after the release of “Candy-O”. The new album is well received by fans and critics alike, spinning off three singles, including “Let’s Go” (#14 Pop) and “It’s All I Can Do” (#41 Pop). First released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 24K gold CD and 180 gram LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2011. It is also issued on colored vinyl (red) as part of the box set “The Elektra Years – 1978 -1987 in 2016. "Candy-O” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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.

On this day in music history: March 13, 1984 -…

On this day in music history: March 13, 1984 – “Heartbeat City”, the fifth album by The Cars is released. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and The Cars, it is recorded at Battery Studios in London from July 1983 – January 1984. Following the release of their fourth album “Shake It Up” and the subsequent tour, The Cars take a year off to rest, and for band members Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes to work on solo projects. When they reunite in mid 1983, they relocate to London to work with producer “Mutt” Lange, fresh off of his successes with AC/DC and Def Leppard. After working with Roy Thomas Baker on their previous albums, the band find that Lange works in a far different manner. Meticulously building the rhythm tracks from the ground up, drummer David Robinson does not play live drums on the album at all, instead the drum tracks are created from samples of drums and played back through a Fairlight CMI synthesizer. Without losing their quirky and eclectic edge, the band create an albums worth of songs (written almost entirely by Ocasek alone) that maintain those qualities, but are radio friendly and accessible. It spins off five singles including “You Might Think” (#7 Pop), “Magic” (#12 Pop), “Drive” (#3 Pop) and “Hello Again” (#20 Pop, #8 Club Play). The singles are supported by a series of clever eye catching music videos beginning with the first single “You Might Think”. The clip is directed by Jeff Stein (“The Kids Are Alright”) and features fashion model Susan Gallagher. The tongue in cheek video is one of the first to utilize computer generated graphics and effects. The clip is an instant hit on MTV, and later in 1984 wins the very first VMA award for Video Of The Year. The videos for “Magic”, which features Ocasek appearing to walk on water, “Drive” featuring model Paulina Porizkova (later married to Ric Ocasek) and directed by Oscar winning actor Timothy Hutton. “Hello Again” is directed by and featuring a cameo by pop art icon Andy Warhol. All four videos become staples on MTV, and other music video channels throughout the year. The album cover outer gatefold features the painting “Art-O-Matic Loop Di Loop” by English pop artist Peter Phillips. The album is remastered and reissued as a hybrid SACD and as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2016. The album is also reissued as an expanded deluxe edition in 2018. “Heartbeat City” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 6, 1981 – “Shake It…

On this day in music history: November 6, 1981 – “Shake It Up”, the fourth album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at Syncro Sound Studios in Boston, MA from Spring – Fall 1981. The Boston based band’s fourth release is in a more commercial and pop oriented vein than their previous release, the hard edged and experimental “Panorama”. Recording in their newly purchased Syncro Sound Studios (formerly Intermedia Studios), it also is The Cars last album to be produced by long time producer Roy Thomas Baker. It spins off two hit singles including “Since You’re Gone” (#41 Pop) and the title track (#4 Pop), which is their first Top 10 hit and their highest charting single to date. The song “I’m Not The One” is belatedly released as a single in early 1986 (in remixed form) as part of their “Greatest Hits” album. In 2009, audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remasters and reissues the album on CD and vinyl, packaging the CD edition in a mini-LP sleeve. The album is also reissued on CD and vinyl by Rhino Records in June of 2016, as part of “The Elektra Years 1978-1987” box set, compiling all six of their studio albums. Shake It Up” peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.