If there is one album that I can always go to that I will enjoy from beginning to end The Cars debut album is one of the best. As a child I remember this record being so bizarre to me. The images on the inner sleeve and the cool vibe of the enigmatic band photo on the back of the album had me wondering wtf? Then to hear it! These guys sounded like something from outer space at the time
Although many albums I listened to as a child have faded from my musical tastes and no longer see the light of day this album has stood the test of time. Released in 1978 on the Elektra label the album charted three songs on the billboard hits with “Good Times Roll”, “My Best Friends Girl” and “Just What I Needed”. The album ultimately ended up 4th on the Billboards Top Albums of the Year for 1979. I think this album should also be considered one of the best guitar albums of all time as well. The album is essentially a New Wave meets Rockabilly hybrid and it is that merger which they pull off so well that makes it really unique and special. Elliot Easton’s playing is so on point and seamless it just flies under the radar but don’t let me fool you into thinking it’s all just sophistication here. Despite navigating his way through some pretty 50’s and 60’s style guitar playing I would be remiss if I led you to believe it’s all pretty. The guitar playing is edgy, and snarling at times and there is definitely a hint of punk aggro here. It’s all well crafted and a timeless recording that deserves more attention than it gets. Those who know, know. As much as I enjoyed The Cars later work their first album has a feel and mood to it that I feel eclipses their later work. The album is fun but also dark and mysterious as well and it feels like a story being told. My favorite track is “Moving in Stereo” and the way it blends into “All Mixed Up” can fool you into thinking it’s one song. In fact, the track blend is second to none on this album. It really is a complete package it’s put together so well. Do yourself a favour and find yourself a copy of this one and crank it up.