Song of the Day #4,066: ‘Just What I Needed’ – The Cars

The Cars became eligible for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame consideration in 2003 but weren’t nominated until 2016. They missed the cut that year, as well as the following year, before being inducted in 2018.

Like most of that year’s entrants, The Cars are another act that really should have made it in sooner. The Boston-based quintet was a pioneering New Wave band that blended power pop and guitar rock into irrististible radio hits, helping pave the way for a slew of New Wave acts in both American and the UK.

The Cars released five platinum or multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1984, starting with their self-titled debut (on which today’s SOTD appears) and culminating with the massive hit Heartbeat City (‘Magic,’ ‘You Might Think,’ ‘Drive’). They produced 13 Top 40 singles from those albums as well as their sixth, comparatively less popular, record — 1987’s Door to Door.

The band split up in ’88 but reunited in 2011 to release one more album, Move Like This.

[Verse 1]
I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time
‘Cause when you’re standin’ oh so near
I kinda lose my mind

[Pre-Chorus]
It’s not the perfume that you wear
It’s not the ribbons in your hair
And I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time

[Synth/Guitar Bridge]

[Verse 2]
I don’t mind you hangin’ out
And talkin’ in your sleep
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been
As long as it was deep, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
You always knew to wear it well and
You look so fancy I can tell
I don’t mind you hangin’ out
And talkin’ in your sleep

[Chorus]
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to feed
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to bleed

[Guitar Bridge]

[Verse 3]
I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time, time
‘Cause when you’re standin’ oh so near
I kinda lose my mind, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
It’s not the perfume that you wear
It’s not the ribbons in your hair
I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time

[Chorus]
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to feed
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to bleed

[Chorus]
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to feed
I guess you’re just what I needed
(Just what I needed)
I needed someone to bleed
Yeah, yeah, so bleed me

[Outro]
(You’re just what I needed)
(You’re just what I needed)
(You’re just what I needed)
Yeah, yeah, yeah

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,066: ‘Just What I Needed’ – The Cars

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    This takes me right back to 1986, when my college band at UF, The Generics, played this song as part of our set. Fast forward more than 30 years (!), and now my son was playing the song in his band 6th Avenue, and he is attending his first week of classes at UF.

  2. Peg says:

    That is so amazing Dana!

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    This song to me is the epitome of cool. There’s something about the lead singers delivery of those lyrics that just as always stood out to me as in ideal of swagger. The lines themselves are simple but brilliant. I’m sure it was my dad who first showed me this song and I remember being so immediately attracted to it. As I’ve picked up a little bit more about music throughout the years, the thing that I’ve come to appreciate even more in this song is the legendary guitar solo. I could listen to that guitar solo forever. I was very bummed when I did perform this song with my band and the guitarist didn’t take it upon himself to learn that solo.

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