1984 saw the release of The Cars’ fifth studio album, Heartbeat City. The album spawned six successful singles, including the band’s all-time biggest hit, ‘Drive,’ as well as two other MTV staples in ‘You Might Think’ and ‘Magic.’ That trio of songs defined the mid-80s for my tween self as much as anything I’m featuring in this Decades installment.
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 are another band who passed me by in the 70s and 80s (to be fair, I was between 6-10 years old at the time). I’ve since picked up a couple of their albums, spurred on by $3.99 sales at Amazon.
One is their self-titled 1978 debut, which features such hits as ‘Good Times Roll,’ ‘My Best Friend’s Girl,’ ‘Just What I Needed’ and ‘You’re All I’ve Got Tonight.’ That’s one hell of a start.
I’ve always felt that it’s never too late to become a fan. I discovered Bob Dylan when I was 14 years old, 20 years after his most groundbreaking work. The Smiths had already broken up by the time I got into their music. Brad Paisley had been a country superstar for nearly a decade before I heard a single note.
But in other cases, for reasons I haven’t determined, I believe the chance at fandom passes me by. Had the timing been right, I would have been completely absorbed by a band or artist. But things just didn’t work out the way they could have.