This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #215: Let’s Go by The Cars.
The Cars”were one of the groups that formed the soundtrack to the early years of my musical education. Back in Cape Breton in the early 1980s, the airwaves were filled with music by groups such as Boston, Journey, The J. Geils Band, Foreigner and today’s group, The Cars. All of these bands had multiple hits and filled arenas all over the world. Their albums formed the bulk of my initial record collection; travelling back and forth between Toronto and Cape Breton during my university years and then, travelling with me to London, Ontario, when I moved to Ontario permanently in 1985. My girlfriend at the time had been born not too far from the Canada-US border near Windsor and, as such, she had grown up listening to classic rock from The Motor City on WRIF “The Home of Rock n’ Roll”. Our days together often including getting out my albums and listening to John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Donny Iris and, of course, The Cars” Classic Rock music was like comfort food for those of us who grew up going to drive-ins and hanging out at the cottage in the summer or reminiscing about high school dances and the romances that came along with that.
The Cars played their part in making my memories of those days golden-hued by releasing an impressive collection of Top Ten/Top Forty hits over a career that spanned most of the 80s and into the early 90s. They had hits with songs like, “Let The Good Times Roll”, “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend”, “Just What I Needed”, “Its All I Can Do”, “Touch and Go”, “Since You’re Gone”, “You Might Think”, “Magic”, “Drive”, “Shake It Up”, “Candy-O” and “Let’s Go”. Any of these songs could have, potentially, been today’s selected song but since, “Let’s Go” was their highest charting single in Canada and, as well, since it came from my favourite Cars album, “Candy-O” (with the famous Vargas pin-up album cover that all the guys liked), I opted to go with this song. In reality, if you are just getting to know the music of The Cars then, the best advice I have is to get a Cars playlist online or else, go to YouTube and get a Cars playlist there. It is hard to go wrong with their Greatest Hits, regardless of what form you find it in.
The Cars were comprised of singer, Rik Ocasek, singer/bassist, Benjamin Orr (who handles the singing on “Let’s Go”), Elliot Easton on lead guitar, Greg Hawkes on keyboards and David Robinson on drums. The Cars were inducted into The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Benjamin Orr and Rik Ocasek have both died recently of natural causes so, The Cars” as we knew them, no longer exist. Thankfully, we have a smorgasbord of their music to listen to and plenty of good memories to go with it. So, without further delay, here are The Cars with “Let’s Go”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Let’s Go” by The Cars, can be found here.
The link to the official website for The Cars, can be found here.
The link to the official website for radio station, WRIF out of Detroit…..”The Hooooooome of Rock n’ Roll”……..can be found here.