The Cars is the most popular American new wave band of the late ’70s, as well as one of the most popular American rock bands of that era. The formation was founded in 1976 in Boston.
The group recorded 6 albums, but became famous above all for their groundbreaking video clips, which have already become the legend of MTV, such as “You Might Think”, “Magic” and “Drive”.
The band’s best-known songs are “Drive”, “Tonight She Comes”, “Shake It Up” and “You Are The Girl”.
The band disbanded in 1987. In later years there were rumors about a possible reactivation of the band, but eventually, they were interrupted by the death of Benjamin Orr, who died in October 2000.
In 2005, the band decided to return as a New Cars band. However, there are no two leaders in the band: the composer and singing guitarist Rick Ocasek and the bass player – Benjamin Orr.
In April 2018, the Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and reunited once more to perform at the induction ceremony. The reunion was their final performance with Ocasek, who died on September 15, 2019 of cardiovascular disease.
One key aspect of The Cars’ musical style was their innovative use of synthesizers, which played a significant role in shaping the soundscape of their songs. At a time when synthesizers were just starting to gain prominence in mainstream music, The Cars skillfully incorporated these electronic instruments into their tracks, forging a captivating blend of rock and pop. This synthesis of traditional guitar-driven rock with synth-driven melodies resulted in a truly groundbreaking sound that set them apart from their contemporaries.
Additionally, The Cars’ penchant for catchy hooks, accessible melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics made their music both intellectually stimulating and irresistibly danceable. The band’s lead vocalist and songwriter, Ric Ocasek, had a knack for penning lyrics that were simultaneously introspective and relatable, touching on themes of love, loss, and the human experience.
Furthermore, The Cars were known for their tight musicianship, which was characterized by intricate guitar work from Elliot Easton, the steady rhythm section of drummer David Robinson and bassist Benjamin Orr, and the innovative keyboard stylings of Greg Hawkes. Together, these musicians created a dynamic and engaging sound that left an indelible mark on the music industry.
In conclusion, The Cars’ unique fusion of rock, pop, and electronic elements, combined with their catchy hooks, introspective lyrics, and tight musicianship, made them an influential force in the development of new wave music and solidified their place as one of the most interesting and innovative rock groups of their time.