The Cars [Deluxe Edition]

by: The Cars

Back in 1996, Rhino Records had plans for a Cars rarities disc entitled Prototypes, which was to include their entire first album in demo form, as well as other rarities from all eras of the band. And even though Ice magazine ran a story on it and a track listing was set, the album never saw the light of day for reasons unknown. Three years later, Rhino reconsidered (helped by a fan write-in campaign), and issued a similarly assembled package, The Cars: Deluxe Edition. A two-CD set, it contains their classic 1978 self-titled debut in its entirety (an album you just can't hear enough), while the second disc presents the complete album in demo form, with an additional five early demos of previously unreleased compositions tacked on at the end. Diehard fans will have a feast with disc two, the demos for such radio standards as "My Best Friend's Girl," "Just What I Needed," "You're All I've Got Tonight," and "Bye Bye Love" capture the songs in their rawest form -- akin to what they must have sounded like back in the band's club days. Out of the five unissued songs, two are instant classics (the amiable "Wake Me Up" and the red-hot rocker "Hotel Queenie"), while "They Won't See You" proves interesting, despite an underdeveloped chorus -- which is forgivable, since these are demos, after all. [Note: since a demo version of "Good Times Roll" couldn't be found, a live take from 1978 is used on disc two.] ~ Greg Prato

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