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Just What I Needed: Anthology
Just What I Needed: Anthology
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2

Despite musical roots that branched from the Velvets to Steely Dan and the likes of then-new wave icons Roxy Music, the Cars never strayed far from the crucial, hook-conscious, three-minute pop song sensibility which made ...  more »


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Despite musical roots that branched from the Velvets to Steely Dan and the likes of then-new wave icons Roxy Music, the Cars never strayed far from the crucial, hook-conscious, three-minute pop song sensibility which made them one of the most successful and long-lived radio staples of the '70s and '80s. As well as being catchy, Ric Ocasek's best songs are also ironic--"Good Times Roll" and "Just What I Needed" both contain winking lyrical twists. With Ben Orr vocalizing the sweeter material, guitarist Elliott Easton's and keyboardist Greg Hawke's often-quirky musical embroidery, and drummer David Robinson's rhythmic propulsion and fashion sense, the Cars became the self-contained rock juggernaut--or, if you prefer, new wave arena band--documented on these two discs. The hit singles and select album cuts stretch from their improbably rich debut through moodier efforts like "Panorama" and the vibrant, yet satisfying "Shake It Up" and "Heartbeat City." The CD is well seasoned by a cache of previously unreleased demos, B-sides, and outtakes. The earliest of these ('77 demos of "Take Me Now" and "Cool Fool") demonstrate that the band's sound was intact before they met their first multiplatinum producer, while later rarities (playful covers of Iggy's "Fun Time" and the Nightcrawlers' "Little Black Egg") underscore their eclectic, seemingly incongruous tastes. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

The Cars' Best Compilation
Chappa | Olympus Mons, Mars | 09/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Released in 1995, this is the ultimate way of acquiring (almost) all the band's biggest hits plus a pile of underrated album cuts. The Cars is probably one of the most influential bands of the late 70's new wave movement. All the band's six albums are represented and they are: the self-titled debut "The Cars" (1978), "Candy-O" (1979), "Panorama" (1980), "Shake It Up" (1981), "Heartbeat City" (1984), and "Door To Door" (1987). In addition to album songs, you also get quite a few rare demos and outtakes too! The line-up never changed throughout the years and it featured Rick Ocasek on rhythm guitar/vocals, Elliot Easton on lead guitar, Greg Hawkes on keyboards, Benjamin Orr on bass/vocals, and David Robinson on drums.

From their debut, one of the best is the first one "Just What I Needed", it may be their most popular song they ever did! It's a perfect example of the band's distinctive sound with Ocasek's trademark palm muted rhythm guitar playing, catchy melodies, memorable synth lines, steady drumming from Robinson, and Easton's melodic lead playing. Other favorites are "My Best Friend's Girl", and "Moving In Stereo". The second release "Candy-O" includes the radio hit "Let's Go", the title track, and one of the best is "Double Life"! The third record is the only one that didn't produce a major radio hit, but is one of their most underrated as evidenced by the title track, "Gimme Some Slack", and "Don't Tell Me No" (one of the best choruses ever?). Their fourth offering and last album to be produced by Roy Thomas Baker includes another radio hit in "Since You're Gone" while there are some notable cuts from the last two albums like for example "You Might Think", "Magic", and "Door To Door".

Here are the eleven unreleased songs contained in this compilation:

Unissued Demos:
"Take Me Now"
"Cool Fool"
"Leave Or Stay"
"Ta Ta Wayo Wayo"
"The Little Black Egg"

Non-Lp b-sides:
"That's It"
"Don't Go To Pieces"

Those unreleased cuts are all great! "Funtime" is a cover of the Stoogies classic, both "Leave Or Stay" and "Ta Ta Wayo Wayo" were later reworked and included on their last album "Door To Door", while "Nightspots" is an early unfinished version of the song that ended up on their sophomore release "Candy-O". For me, the most memorable of these turned out to be the fast paced pop rock of "Slipaway"!

However, there's one slight flaw about this compilation, and that is the inexplicable omission of the popular radio hit "Bye Bye Love"! Still, that's not enough to bring down the rating! The bottom line is simple, if you like new wave, then you must add this greatest hits package to your collection or just go ahead and shell out the extra cash and get the six albums!
Thanks for taking the time to read!
Cesar A. Alvarado | oswego il usa | 05/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"very awesome compilation, was very pleased with the album.the seller's price was also really affordable and the quality of the product was immaculate considering it as 98% good used.i would definitely buy from this seller again."