Vinyl Rewrite-The Cars: Heartbeat City (1984)


1984! Man what a year for new Releases in the Rock Field! Tons of huge sellers, especially in my chosen expertise and that would be METAL!

One of the bands that I always dug well actually two groups that I dug back in the day (the 1980s) and still do to this day are Cheap Trick and The Cars!

Cheap Trick was and still are to me Quirky Rock. Borderline Geek band with Nerds and two Cool guys up front and the classic songs to go with it. I’m talking CT from the 70s and 80s folks.

The Cars looked like nerds but in a new kind of way. These guys well  Cars lead singer and primary songwriter Ric Ocasek(RIP) were, even more, geekier than Cheap Trick but The Cars had hits folks! Tons of them.

Heartbeat City was no exception when all was said and done this album spawned 5 hit singles(in North America) Half the album was hits!

1. Hello Again
2. Looking for Love
3. Magic
4. Drive
5. Stranger Eyes
6. You Might Think
7. It’s Not the Night
8. Why Can’t I Have You
9. I Refuse
10. Heartbeat City
Much of that  I’m sure has to fall at the hands of producer Robert John Mutt Lange! Safe to say Mutt knew a thing or two at the time about making rock radio-friendly hits and this album was one of them!

From AC/DC to Foreigner to Def Leppard Mutt knew the deal of rock radio and The Cars are another band that you can add to that list!

Ric Ocasek knew the art of writing catchy song’s! You Might Think is one of those tracks, especially the video that went along with it.  Magic another Ocasek composition is a wicked track fusing a quirky verse that segues into a brilliant chorus!

Not to be outdone though Bassist Ben Orr(RIP) scored the biggest hit off of this album with Drive.  Drive was a ballad plain and straightforward and was everywhere back in 84-85 when I was in high school.  Orr was the Cars secret weapon contributing an odd track here and there, but Ben scored huge with this track.

Give it up for Bass Players Folks! Orr with Drive and another talented 4 stringer John Deacon wrote Another One Bites The Dust for Queen! I mean 2 fewer strings these guys had and look at what they could muster up.

It’s refreshing to be collecting the Cars music now on vinyl as like many I had the Greatest Hits set, but when you step inside The Cars studio records and get into the deeper tracks.  The music takes you on a different ride sonically.

An added bonus is if you score this on vinyl it comes in a gatefold sleeve!


The Cars stepped up huge on this release and what can you say when you have 5 singles released! (those were the days)

Ocasek knew the fine art of crafting catchy Ear Candy tunes! Plus the added addition of Mutt Lange dialing in the sounds was an added coup for The Cars!

R.I.P Mr. Ocasek and Mr. Orr. You both left a huge mark on crafting 3-minute masterpieces!

30 thoughts on “Vinyl Rewrite-The Cars: Heartbeat City (1984)”

    1. Magic is a stellar track. These guys did not give a shit about how they would replicate this stuff live.
      Mutt Lange padded his bank account even more with this album.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s crazy but we always will have The Cars music. What a run of albums. I know everyone loves the debut and I get it but Panorama is a solid release as well. Lot’s of quirkiness on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really did forget how many songs came off of this album. This one and their first were huge…between the both that is 11 songs that still get played…thats not counting the ones between these albums. Excellent album!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lot of singles off of two albums. Who else can say that? Maybe Leppard with Pyromania and Hysteria? Man,now I gotta think and that makes my head hurt! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That bass riff groove at the start of “Looking For Love” and “Drive” is identical. It’s not original and a lot of R&B songs have this groove.

      And 10 years later it’s on an Ozzy album and the song is called “See You On The Other Side”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had another Mutt album on the other day, Hysteria – i think they also called him Green Thumb in those liner notes!
    And agreed, cheers to bass players, often so quietly integral to the band.
    Just started into game 6 while making dinner tonight, solid home half of the first, Molitor was something else!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moliter was the best. One of the quickest swings ever. He was the deal.
      Saw him a few years before he joined Toronto when he was still with the Brewers in Milwaukee( back in 1991) and he was destroying the ball that night. I thought man this guy is too good for this team.

      Glad he won a ring.

      Liked by 1 person

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