The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. The band originated from Boston, Massachusetts, and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977.
The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. The Cars started fresh with their debut album The Cars which went on to go platinum in late 1978, The Cars debut album was called a "genuine rock masterpiece" by allmusic. Probably the most successful and well known song from the album "Just What I Needed", started as a demo in 1977. The song was sent as a mix tape to a local DJ in the Boston area, who played the song in heavy rotation. This soon caught the attention of other DJ's, which led to the signing of the band by Elektra Records in 1977. The Cars have mentioned this numerous times including in their "last" interview in June 2000. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described The Cars' musical style by saying: "they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the '50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend."
Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented on their style saying "the Cars were nevertheless inspired by proto-punk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop." He also called them an official rock & roll band.
The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek has always discouraged talk of a reunion since then, telling one interviewer in 1997 "I'm saying never and you can count on that." In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. On October 21, 2010, the Cars confirmed that they have reunited and are recording their first album in 24 years. Greg Hawkes will fill in on bass for Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.
In 2010, the founding members of The Cars suggested a reunion when Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson placed a photo of the four members together in Millbrook Sound Studios, Millbrook, NY on their Facebook page. On October 13, they also posted a snippet of a new song, "Blue Tip," on their Facebook page.
A picture of Jacknife Lee in the studio was posted on the group's Facebook page hinting that he is producing the new Cars album.
In October Billboard reported that a new album which may be supported by a tour is being recorded at veteran engineer Paul Orofino's studio in Millbrook, New York.
David Robinson has mentioned that the working title of the new project is "Sharp Subtle Flavor", according to Rolling Stone.
A music clip of a new song, called "Sad Song", was added to their Facebook page on December 7, 2010.
Another clip of a song called "Free" was shared on their Facebook page on January 1, 2011.
The new album, now titled Move Like This, is currently scheduled for release May 10 by Hear Music/Concord Music Group. The album's first single, "Sad Song", was released to radio stations in March.
The official debut video for "Blue Tip" was released February 17, 2011. The video was directed by Roberto Serrini and Eron Otcasek from The Lab NYC and features the four members of the band, and NYC based street artist Joe Iurato.
The single "Sad Song" was released to radio on March 1, 2011.