The roots of the band The Cars can be traced back to the early 1970's, when Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr began performing in a band together in Ohio. After moving to Boston and hooking up a few more band members, the group Milkwood was created. Milkwood released on album in 1973 on the Paramount label (How's the Weather). As time weathered on, so to speak, the duo of Ocasek and Orr found themselves playing in several other bands, with names like Richard and the Rabbits, Orphan, and Martin Mull and his Fabulous Furniture, and Cap'n Swing. It was the band Cap'n Swing that eventually turned into The Cars.
After playing the clubs and bars of New England, Elektra Records signed the band after hearing a demo version of the single "Just What I Needed" being spun on a local radio station. The bands self-titled debut hit shelves in 1978. In addition to "Just What I Needed", the album also featured the hit songs "My Best Friend's Girl" and "Good Times Roll". The band's follow up album, Candy-O (1979), featured the hit songs "Let's Go", "It's All I Can Do", and "Dangerous Type". The bands 1980 release, Panorama, was considered more experimental and did not do as well (however, you may remember the song "Touch and Go"). The Car's 1981 release, Shake It Up, was their first album to feature a number 1 hit single (the title track). It also featured the hit song "Since You're Gone".
After a short hiatus to pursue solo projects, The Car's came back together to release Heartbeat City (1984), their most successful release. This album featured a number of hits, including "You Might Think", "Hello Again", "Magic", "Drive", and "Why Can't I Have You". The song "Tonight She Comes" was released on their 1985 greatest hits album. Again a few of the members, including Ocasek, went back to releasing solo albums until 1987, when The Car's released Door to Door. This album featured the song "You Are the Girl".
Shortly after, the band broke up as members went back to solo careers. They would not reunite again until 2010, when a new album (Move Like This) was released. At the time of this writing, The Cars Discography is as follows:
- 1978: The Cars
- 1979: Candy-O
- 1980: Panorama
- 1981: Shake It Up
- 1984: Heartbeat City
- 1985: Greatest Hits
- 1987: Door to Door
- 1995: Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology
- 2001: Shake It Up & Other Hits
- 2002: Complete Greatest Hits
- 2005: The Essentials
- 2008: Classic Tracks
- 2011: Move Like This