The Cars Revved Up For New Album, Reunion Tour

The Cars Revved Up For New Album, Reunion Tour

Late last year, I got SiriusXM satellite radio for my vehicle. I really enjoy it. There are tons of talk and sports stations and the music channels have no commercials. Yes, there are deejays, but they’re much more knowledgeable than your local jocks and they keep their drop-ins short and sweet.

I’m a flipper. I change channels frequently. I like to think of myself as a hunter; I’m always on the hunt for a better song.

My 18 presets are set to a variety of music channels, everything from soft rock of the 1970’s, to the classic rock of the vinyl years, to classic rock of the cassette years, to alternative rock, to New Wave. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the two bands that are played on the most music channels are The Beatles and U2. Starring in the next tier of ubiquitous artists are The Cars.

The Cars are a Boston-based rock band that burst onto the scene in the late 1970’s. They were billed as a New Wave act, but they actually combined guitar-rock and synth-pop to create a popular sound that transcended genres. The Cars were innovated and fresh enough to be cool but talented enough to write and record a bunch of quality music.

Their self-titled debut went platinum and featured the classic tracks “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Just What I Needed,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Moving in Stereo.” The band went on to release five more albums all of which were certified gold or better. Four of their six albums peaked inside the top ten.

The band split in 1988 and frontman Ric Ocasek basically squashed all hopes of a reunion by stating, “I’m saying never and you can count on that.”

Well, “never” has arrived.

The Cars reunited last winter to record Move Like This, their first new studio album in nearly 25 years. The album drops May 10 which is the same day the band launches their mini-reunion tour.

The Cars ten-date trek of North America starts rolling in Seattle, Washington at the famed Showbox SoDo. The tour puts on the brakes May 26 in Boston, Massachusetts at the House of Blues. This smacks of a warm-up outing for a larger Cars tour, maybe something in late 2011 or early 2012?

The Cars’ route is fairly straightforward and direct, they work their way from the West Coast, through the Midwest, and then finally to the East Coast.

One has to wonder what made Ocasek change his mind? Was his adamant anti-reunion stance a misdirection and deep down inside he knew it would eventually happen? Or did he really want to avoid a possibly pathetic and legacy-ruining reunion tour but abandon that idea when he realized how much money he could make?

Probably a little of both, but the story Ocasek is telling is that he had written a bunch of songs and thought that the best thing to do was record them with The Cars.

“It totally clicked immediately. Everybody got right into it, as if we had never stopped playing. After two days I thought, ‘Oh yeah, this is going to be cool,'” explained Ocasek.

The Cars current lineup is composed of Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, Elliot Easton, and David Robinson. Bassist and singer Benjamin Orr, the second most visible band member after Ocasek, died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer.

“It seemed strange when Ben wasn’t there for rehearsals,” Ocasek explained to Rolling Stone Magazine earlier this year. “I’m kind of used to the fact that he passed away awhile ago. But when we first got together, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just the four of us here. Whoever wants to play bass, just play.’”

Move Like This contains ten tracks and was produced by Garret “Jacknife” Lee and the band. Hawkes and Lee took turns playing bass on the album.

The Cars’ 2011 Itinerary
May 10 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox @SODO
May 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hollywood Palladium
May 13 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
May 15 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
May 17 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
May 18 – Chicago, IL @ The Riviera Theatre
May 20 – Toronto, ON @ The Sound Academy
May 23 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
May 25 – New York City, NY @ Roseland
May 26 – Boston, MA @ The House of Blues

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