One of the poster-child bands of America’s venture into New Wave, The Cars were recognized as a sort of transitional band as rock music shifted from the guitar driven songs of the late 1970’s into 80’s synth-heavy pop. Their biggest charting hit “Drive” (often called by the first line of the song, “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home Tonight”), leaned toward the completion of that transition. Dripping with synths overlaid on a slow Simmons-sounding drum beat (remember those Simmons drums?), this ballad from 1984 is simple, sad, and apparently quite captivating.
Interestingly, the music video for the song (below) was directed by none other than actor Timothy Hutton. You might also recognize the model/actress in the video as Paulina Porzikova, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model, who eventually married frontman Ric Ocasek.
The Cars disbanded in 1988, and true to Ric Ocasek’s promise, have never officially reunited. Ocasek and other band members went on to do solo albums or join other bands. Bassist Benjamin Orr died of pancreatic cancer in 2000.