Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Missed Masterpieces: The Cars

Posted By on February 1, 2011, 10:02 AM

Back in the middle of July, 1979, my friend and I were parked in front of the church in his piece-o-shit Monte Carlo. We had the windows open and our shirts off because his car didn’t have AC. ---We also had the radio blaring because, well, because we always had the radio blaring; we were hard-core Rock & Rollers and damn proud of it.

When the girls started to arrive we cranked it up to its limit (shitty car, decent sound system) to impress them. The song was “Let’s Go” by The Cars. And as stupid as that might sound now, it worked.

As far as I could tell, my friends and I were all basically average looking guys, but we had good tans and decent bodies because most of us were working ugly, outside, manual-labor jobs.

But what we really had was ATTITUDE, and it was magical. Girls loved us because we looked and acted dangerous, and were not only skilled charmers; we also loved to be around women (girls then I guess).

The Cars, who came from Boston, weren’t anyone’s most favorite band in the whole wide world, but almost everyone at that time liked them and had either their first, self-titled album, or their second album, Candy-O.

Punk wasn’t being played here, but so-called New Wave was all the rage. When I listen to The Cars now, they sound more like power-pop. But, to quote Billy Joel, as far as I’m concerned, “It’s all Rock & Roll to me.”

Despite the power of the drug I call nostalgia (and kids, you will be addicted to this drug someday), Candy-O with “Let’s Go” is a good album, but the self-titled first album is top-to-bottom better.

It’s not an Exile on Main St., or a Plastic Ono Band, Rubber Soul or Pet Sounds. It’s just a FUN album that rocks hard enough not to be bubblegum, and what in the hell is wrong with that? It may be in the minor leagues, but I’m still going to call it a masterpiece for the purpose it serves.

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