The Cars Biography

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The Cars was an American rock band that became popular in the 80’s. The band was composed of guitarist and vocalist Ric Ocasek, bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. They formed in Boston, Massachusetts and began playing live performances around New England in 1976.

The band were already in the thick of things just as the popularity of guitar oriented rock mixed with synth-oriented pop music was continuing to grow in the late 70’s and spilled over the 80’s.

The early sound of the band was composed of Easton’s guitar solos complemented with Hawkes’ synthesizers. Lead vocal duties were split between Orr and Ocasek, who also was the chief song writer of the band.

The band became The Cars in 1977 and they eventually singed with Elektra Records. The Cars went to release their self titled debut album in 1978 and was able to reach the number three spot on the Billboard Pop Album Charts. Their follow up album, Candy-O also was well received by fans and had singles that became Top 40 hits.

!980 saw the band releasing their third album, Panorama, which was somewhat experimental and was only to have one Top 40 hit. Their next album, Shake it Up, which was released in 1981, contained their first Top 10 hit in "Since You’re Gone". The band then went on to take a short break to focus on their solo projects.

The Cars then reunited in 1984 and released their most commercially successful album, Heartbeat City. The first single in the album, "You Might Think", was accompanied with a music video that won the Video of the Year on the very first MTV Video Music Awards. This was complemented by other hits on the album most notable of which was "Drive". This album sent the band to enjoy superstardom. The band followed it up with their Greatest Hits album that came out with another hit single in "Tonight She Comes". The album went on to go six times platinum in 1985.

After their Greatest Hits album, the band went on another hiatus to focus on their solo projects. The band finally announced their breakup in 1988. There was a rumor that the band was planning a reunion but unfortunately proved to be unfounded. Their record label released The Cars anthology album in 1995 that was followed by The Cars: Deluxe Edition in 1999 and Complete Greatest Hits.

Ocasek continues on to perform as a solo artist along with producing albums for other bands. Benjamin Orr sadly passed away as a result of pancreatic cancer on October of 2000. Easton and Hawkes collaborated on 2005 to become The New Cars, along with a revamped lineup performing classic The Cars songs as well as some original material. Robinson retired from performing music and concentrated on his restaurant business.