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The Cars

From Academic Kids

The Cars were an American new wave band, one of the most popular to emerge out of the early punk scene in the late 1970s. They hailed from Boston, Massachusetts and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977 (1977 in music).

The band's members were Ric Ocasek (born Richard Otcasek), the band's principal songwriter, rhythm guitarist, and part-time lead singer; Benjamin Orr (born Benjamin Orzechowski), bassist and part-time lead singer; Elliot Easton, lead guitar and backing vocals; David Robinson, drums and backing vocals; and Greg Hawkes, keyboards, saxophone, guitar, and backing vocals. The nucleus of the group was composed of guitarists Ocasek and Orr.

The Cars successfully bridged the gap between the guitar-oriented rock of the 1970s and the synth-oriented pop of the early 1980s. While Elliot Easton could do the occasional guitar solo, The Cars' sound was defined much more by Greg Hawkes' synthesizers and the huge harmonies of Easton, Robinson, and Hawkes behind Orr's and Ocasek's lead vocals.

The band's hits dominated the charts for over nine years; their most successful albums were 1978's The Cars, which featured one of the most popular new wave songs of all time in "Just What I Needed," and 1984's Heartbeat City, which included four Top 20 singles: "Magic," "Drive," "Heartbeat City," and "You Might Think," which also won the MTV Video of the Year Award (see 1984 in music).

After the resulting period of superstardom, the Cars released their last album Door to Door in 1987, but it failed to approach the success of their previous albums. The Cars announced the group's break-up in February 1988 (1988 in music). In the late 1990s, rumors circulated of a Cars reunion, but Orr's death of pancreatic cancer on October 3, 2000 put an end to them.

In late 2004, The Cars hit song "Just What I Needed" was played in Circuit City television ads.

See also

Album discography

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