Day 10/10 Album Challenge: The Cars – “The Cars” (1978)

A wild ride, The Cars’ debut album set the template for the future of pop with a trunkful of hits.

In our final album for’s 10-Day Album Challenge, we have The Cars’ debut album, The Cars (1978). A record that comes at so many different angles it’s a circle like a car wheel, if you will.

The Cars’ debut album is just what our 10-day album challenge list needed. Maybe its all you need?

The Cars may be the greatest American rock band of all time IMO. “Let them lead you up in the air, let it brush your rock n roll hair“, lines like this are a testament to the kind of cool effortlessness of The Cars, but also, there is something kind of geeky that makes them incredibly enduring. Lauded as the darlings of New Wave, it is easy to see why this is. They combined so many elements of pop with futuristic sensibilities, like the pop writing of Nazz meets the coolness of Roxy Music (who were also featured on our 10-Day challenge) meets electro punk pioneers, Suicide. Not only are the Cars the most featured rock band on Dougie Boom’s Cottage Country Mix, but it’s this album that most has the most featured songs. Just look at the tracklisting for The Cars (1978):

Good Times Roll
My Best Friend’s Girl”
“Just What I Needed”
“I’m In Touch With Your World”
“Don’t Cha Stop”
“You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”
“Bye Bye Love”
“Moving In Stereo”
“All Mixed Up

With a tracklisting like that the album’s greatness is undeniable. Its like having Rock Radio condensed entirely in one album, just non-stop hits with a couple nice breaks in between with some lesser known songs (which are few).

The Cars’ “Good Times Roll” is featured on Cottage Country Mix Vol. 3

The Cars’ lineup consisted of Benjamin Orzechowski (bass, vocals), David Robinson (drums), Elliot Easton (guitar) , Greg Hawkes (keyboards), Ric Ocasek (vocals, guitar) and you could hear their individual influences all over the tracks. Benjamin Orzechowski the sultry voice guy; Greg Hawkes the keyboardist whose signature monophonic synthesizer sound is immediately recognizable; David Robinson, who also played drums in the Modern Lovers has great/solid timing (when he changes the beat in “Just What I Needed“) who many don’t know also made The Cars album covers! Then there’s the versatile guitar playing of Elliot Easton who had both great clean guitar work and distorted leads; and of course Ric Ocasek, the real ears of the band and the mad scientist. Ocasek would also have a prolific solo career and career as a producer, producing albums for Weezer, Suicide, Romeo Void, Le Tigre and my favourite Bad Brain’s legendary, Rock For Light album.

Listen to songs from the Cars debut on Cottage Country Mix:

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