The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. Most of the singles included an Elliot Easton guitar solo, with the sound filled out by Greg Hawkes's synthesizers and the harmonies of Orr, Easton, Hawkes, and Robinson. Lead vocals were split, with Ric Ocasek singing 60% of their songs, and Benjamin Orr taking the remaining 40%. Two of their best-known songs, "Just What I Needed" and "Drive", were sung by Orr. While Ocasek was the sole lyricist and main songwriter for the band, Orr would act as frontman in live appearances.
The Cars released their most successful album, Heartbeat City, in 1984. The first single, "You Might Think", helped The Cars win Video of the Year at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Other hit singles from the album included "Magic", "Hello Again", and "Why Can’t I Have You". Their most successful single, "Drive", gained particular notability when it was used in a video of the Ethiopian famine prepared by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and introduced by David Bowie at the 1985 Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London.
The band broke up in 1988, and Orr's death in 2000 dashed any hopes for a full reunion. Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren in 2005 to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performs classic Cars (and Rundgren) songs alongside new material on tour.
Wikipedia contributors. The Cars. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. September 27, 2008, 13:15 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Cars&oldid=241318384. Accessed October 2, 2008.