Sunday, March 23, 8949

Ric Ocasek (b. 1949) - The Cars

Ric Ocasek (b. Richard T. Otcasek, March 23, 1949, Baltimore, MD) is an American of Czechoslovakian heritage, and is a musician, and music producer. He is best known to the public as the former lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist for the new wave band, The Cars. Ric lived in Baltimore until he was 16, at which time his father, a computer analyst for NASA, was transferred to Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating high school in Cleveland, Ric then attended Bowling Green State University near Toledo, Ohio.


The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970's. 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 1970's guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. 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."

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 23 years. Greg Hawkes will fill in on bass for Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.


My Best Friend's Girl is a song by American rock band The Cars from their 1978 self-titled debut album on Elektra Records. Written by Ric Ocasek and produced by Roy Thomas Baker, the song was released as the album's second single. It peaked at number 35 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart, and reached number three in the UK. My Best Friend's Girl was included on the soundtrack to the 1979 film Over the Edge, and the song appears on numerous compilation albums, such as the band's 1985 Greatest Hits, 1995's Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, and 2002's Complete Greatest Hits. A live version of the song by The New Cars appears on their 2006 debut album, It's Alive!.


Panorama is the third studio album by American new wave band The Cars, released in 1980. It represented a change from the upbeat, hook-based pop rock of previous albums to a more aggressive and cynical sound. Panorama hit the #5 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

All songs written by Ric Ocasek (Copyright Lido Music).

Side One

"Panorama" – 5:42
"Touch and Go" – 4:55
"Gimme Some Slack" – 3:32
"Don't Tell Me No" – 4:00
"Getting Through" – 2:35

Side Two

"Misfit Kid" – 4:30
"Down Boys" – 3:09
"You Wear Those Eyes" – 4:55
"Running to You" – 3:22
"Up and Down" – 3:31

Ric Ocasek – rhythm guitar, lead vocals on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10
Elliot Easton – lead guitar, backing vocals
Greg Hawkes – keyboards, backing vocals
Benjamin Orr – bass, lead vocals on 4, 7, 8, 9
David Robinson – drums, percussion

[8949 Livgren / 8949 Ocasek / 8948 Paice]