Cars – Complete Greatest Hits

Certified Multi-Platinum (6 times) by the RIAA. (4/02)If rock’s most successful and memorable acts have usually succeeded by wrapping their own distillation of music history and personal tastes in whatever fashionable trappings are currently gripping the culture, it’s hardly surprising that the Cars remain one of the most enduring symbols of the punk/new wave era. This 20-track anthology distills that argument perfectly. Ric Ocasek’s songs embody a solid ’60s sense of pop craftsmanship informed by a trend-conscious stylistic sheen and a cynical, slippery emotional detachment that’s often betrayed by his own distinctly weary brand of romanticism, from the anxious pop of “Just What I Needed” and “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” to the melancholy-on-ice musings of “Drive” and “Tonight She Comes.” Sixteen of the 20 cuts here were chart singles, and radio staples like “Bye Bye Love” and “Dangerous Type” might as well have been. –Jerry McCulley

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