Media Condition: VG
Sleeve Condition: G+
Genre: Rock, Electronic, New Wave
Notes: Specialty Records Corporation pressing. Plays clean, near VG+. Printed color inner sleeve. Notch in top right of jacket.
If you like: The Cars, Panorama is an essential album for your collection, showcasing a rather more experimental effort, variant from the iconic The Cars and Candy-O.
About: With their sleek, mechanical sound inspired by proto-punk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop, Boston-based quintet the Cars racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles, becoming the most successful American new wave band of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. They had enough rock & roll attitude to cross over to album rock radio, while still being heavily influenced by the art rock of artists like Suicide, The Velvet Underground, and Roxy Music. Their first two albums (1978’s The Cars and 1979’s Candy-O) were new wave classics; their fifth album, 1984’s Heartbeat City, was a modern pop masterpiece fueled by a run of videos that became MTV staples. The Cars broke up in 1988, but their music’s popularity and influence never faded. *via Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Why it’s worth your time: Perhaps what I love most about listening to The Cars is hearing the wiry tension that runs through each one of their songs–an anxiously crafted, perennial tugging between a warm haze and a cold clarity–one which oddly stabilizes and remediates itself into an efficiently likeable new wave and proto-punk hybrid. It must be the very reason they were such a successful band. The recipe of fuzzed-out guitars stirred in with slick synths and nearly mathematical drumming plus the type of lyrical whimsy and flat, near apathetic delivery belonging to Lou Reed or a Modern-Lovers-era Jonathan Richman–which is so effortlessly mastered by Ocasek and Orr from the get-go–could only lead to cult status. And though Panorama isn’t the most iconic Cars album, it is an important turning point for the band (and my favorite Cars album...I mean just listen to Velvet Underground homage, “You Wear Those Eyes”).
A favorite track: Touch and Go