Heartbeat City Songs Ranked

Heartbeat City is the fifth studio album by American rock band the Cars, released on March 13, 1984, by Elektra Records. The band produced the album with Robert John “Mutt” Lange. This marks the band’s first album not produced by long-time producer Roy Thomas Baker. It also represented a return to the success of the band’s self-titled debut album, with critic Robert Christgau noting that “the glossy approach the Cars invented has made this the best year for pure pop in damn near twenty years, and it’s only fair that they should return so confidently to form.”[7] Numerous tracks from the album received airplay on modern rock and AOR stations, with the singles “Drive” and “You Might Think” reaching the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, while the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Here are all of Heartbeat City’s songs ranked.

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10. It’s Not the Night

“As you move away from these well-known songs, the other songs are classic Cars, with Ric Ocasek’s voice often taking the lead vocal. Among the remaining songs, I especially like “It’s Not the Night”, a song about a couple where one of the two is getting ready to break up, but the other one doesn’t really want it to happen. Two great points about this song: first, the word love is not used once; second, the song doesn’t mention “he” or “she” even once, thus the song could be about either.”

9. Looking for Love

“Looking for Love”, should have got some more airplay – but didn’t. This song has a great intro with some nice bass work by Orr, and Ocasek’s spoken vocals of “Come on Lover, make the switch”.”

CARS - Heartbeat City - Amazon.com Music

8. Stranger Eyes

“This song has more of a tech-rock sound. This was a song largely ignored by the radio, but still is a solid song. Orr takes lead vocals on this song, but sometimes it almost seems as if his voice is “fused” with Ocasek’s even though Orr has a solo lead on this.”

See more: The Cars Albums Ranked

7. Why Can’t I Have You

“Why Can’t I have You” is another excellent song. Lush vocals including an excellent harmony fully explore the unusually evocative lyrics. ‘Why Can’t I Have You’ is a wonderful song I’ve loved ever since I first heard it on The Cars Complete Greatest Hits collection. Another tune about a dreamy, mysterious and possibly lethal woman of Ric’s dreams.”

The Cars: Ric Ocasek on Boston Rock Band's Carefully Customized Image -  Rolling Stone

6. I Refuse

“The Cars, in a word, are unbelievable. As popular as they were in their heyday of the ’80s, the quality and sophistication of their music remains largely unappreciated. Heartbeat City is one of the finest albums of the period, and of New Wave as a genre altogether.”

5. Heartbeat City

“‘Heartbeat City’ is a wonderful, dark song that I never tire of listening to. This one made the 1985 Greatest Hits collection, but sadly was ommited from the aformentioned Complete Greatest Hits collection. Ah well, it’s still one of the band’s greatest title tracks.”

See more: The Cars Songs Ranked

Ric Ocasek, lead singer-songwriter in New Wave band The Cars dies – The  Observer

4. Hello Again

“Hello Again” is another techo-rock song. This did get radio airplay, but by the time it did – the album had already peaked. The keyboards take a strong lead on the intro to the song. There is some great keyboards on this song by Hawkes – especially during the chorus.”

3. Drive

 “Drive”, this is another masterpiece on the album. It has a techno rock theme to it with a futurist “car and garage” sound at the beginning. The song overall seems to show how the Cars have taken their syntho pop roots and showed how they can stay true to them while maturing as a group.”

Ric Ocasek: Cars frontman who drove new wave into the mainstream | Music |  The Guardian

2. Magic

“‘Magic’, one of the big hits of the album. I’ve always loved this song; great harmonies, perfect singalong chorus. Who could forget the video for it, with Ric Ocasek walking on the water of a swimming pool? Who knew Jesus Christ had spikey hair and was in a rock band?”

1. You Might Think

“I’ve always loved this one, long before I ever bought my first Cars album. It just makes me smile every time and remains one of my favorite Cars songs.”