ARTIST: Ric Ocasek
YEAR RELEASED: 1982
CHART ACTION: #28
SINGLES: Something to Grab For (#47, #5 Rock), Jimmy Jimmy (#25 Rock, #60 Dance), Connect Up to Me (#37 Dance)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ocasek and Cars freaks, maybe
LINEUP: Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes and other studio players
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First solo album by the Cars leader sounds, surprise, like a Cars album. More like a deep cut Cars album, but still a Cars album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first single from this record was Something to Grab For, which for all intents and purposes is a Cars song. When I heard this single I thought that this solo album was just going to be in the same formula of the Cars records.
Well, it kinda is, but it’s more electronic and arty than the typical Cars album. Think of side 2 of Panorama and Shake it Up and then kind of veer into even more experimental territory. Ocasek’s distinctive voice makes it hard for him to separate from the Cars, even though there’s no Ben Orr numbers to break it up or Elliot Easton guitar solo to burn on a track.
Ocasek really loved early Roxy Music, Berlin-era Bowie and Suicide. Those influences all show, and coupled with his cold, distant voice makes some cuts pretty eerie and arty.
This album set the stage for Heartbeat City, but it’s a good album in its own right. Not as good, as deep, or as wonderful as most Cars albums (the harmonies are really missing, and so is the pop hooks outside of the first single), but still good.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Connect Up to Me was serviced to clubs as a 12” extended single.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: If you liked the Cars deep cuts, and their experiments with keyboard textures, you’ll like this record.