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    RockChat Rewind with Joe Milliken
    On this day in 1978, Boston-based rockers, The Cars, released their iconic, self-titled debut album on the Elektra record label. Recorded at AIR Studios in London and produced by Roy Thomas Baker, “The Cars” is widely considered to be one of the great debut albums by any band in popular music. The original lineup featured lyricist Ric Ocasek on rhythm guitar and vocals, Benjamin Orr on bass and vocals, Greg Hawkes on keyboards, David Robinson on drums and Elliot Easton on lead guitar.
    Considered a cutting-edge recording for the time, including the use of producer Baker’s rare, forty-track Stevens recording machine, the songs took just 12 days to record, with an additional nine days for mixing, and in fact, much of the recording time was consumed by recording the multi-layered vocal tracks for which Baker was well-known.
    By the end of 1978, “The Cars” had sold over a million copies and the band suddenly enjoyed huge success as a headlining, touring act across America and by March of 1979, the album climbed into the Billboard Top 20, peaking at #18 on the charts. It was ranked #4 on Billboard’s “Top Albums of The Year” in 1979, and the album remained on the Billboard Top 200 for an astounding 139 weeks. “The Cars” also placed three songs on the Hot 100 singles chart including “Just What I Needed” (#27, #17 in the UK), “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, #3 in the UK) and “Good Times Roll” (#41).
    The album received critical acclaim by the press, radio, and fans alike and all nine tracks have received radio airplay along the way. Along with the aforementioned singles, several tracks remain in classic rock rotation to this very day, including “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Moving In Stereo” and “All Mixed Up.”
    Through Rhino Records, a remastered, “Deluxe Edition” was released in 1995 featuring several bonus tracks, and some critics and fans (and even band members) now jokingly consider “The Cars” to be a tongue-in-cheek “greatest hits” package. “The Cars” has gone on to sell over six million copies worldwide, and the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.