The Cars were at the forefront of the new wave scene; the band's blending of new wave, rock and pop made for interesting and radio-friendly music that justly made them stars. The band's roots go all the way back to Columbus, Ohio in the early 1970's where Ric Ocasek (Otcasek) and Benjamin Orr (Orzechowski) met. Relocating to Boston, the duo went through several musical styles before becoming a new wave act with Greg Hawkes (keyboards), Elliot Easton (lead guitar) and David Robinson (drums).
In 1977, a demo recording of "Just What I Needed" caught the ear of WBCN DJ Maxanne Sartori, which led to a recording contract and tons of success. We view the first two Cars LPs as classics, with strong songs from cover to cover. The band's music is also noteworthy for their use of interesting rhythms and offbeat lyrics. Sadly (for the blog), they were released in the 1970's.
"Since You're Gone" was off the Car's fourth album, 1981's Shake It Up. This was the last Cars LP produced by Roy Thomas Baker (he did the previous three, as well as albums from Queen). Shake It Up was more pop than new wave, and after a few years off the band returned with 1984's Heartbeat City, which was even more top 40 oriented. At the peak of their success, the band took a break and released a half-hearted effort (1987's Door to Door) before breaking up.
Original vocalist and bass player Ben Orr died of pancreatic cancer in 2000, ending any hope of a true reunion. However, Easton and Hawkes formed the New Cars (with Todd Rundgren, Prairie Prince, and Kasim Sulton) and released Move Like This in 2011.