Cars- Shake It Up 40th anniversary- Greg Hawkes, the late Ric Ocasek

Contrary to the checkered flag cover art on The Cars‘ 1980 album Panorama , for that third lap the band had finished back in the pack as compared to the winners circle finishes of the first two, 1978’s multi-platinum debut The Cars  and the high octane  follow-up Candy O. Their last to be produced by English veteran Roy Thomas Baker,  Shake It Up  was their first album to contain a Top Ten Billboard  hit in the title song, so 1981’s Shake It Up, with its peak at #9 on Billboard  album sales chart as well as #34 for the entire year, was seen by many  as a return to high performance by the Boston band.

A decade before film director John Singleton introduced mainstream America to Boyz in the ‘Hood , writing on Alfred Soto notes,”…singer/songwriter Ric Ocasek wrote hooky songs about girls on hoods: dumb but not stupid, sexist but not offensive…In that pre-MTV era, The Cars were an ideal first vehicle.”Shake It Up  went on to sell more than two million copies of the album which also contained “Since You’re Gone”, the sleeper “I’m Not the One (‘Round & ‘Round)”, and I included the late Ben Orr’s and Ric Ocasek’s rare cover of the 1965 Nightcrawlers gem “Little Black Egg” just for fun. Ric, who sadly passed away from heart disease in 2019, and Greg Hawkes are my guests In the Studio  in this classic rock interview. –Redbeard