The Cars are virtuously synonymous with '80s new wave -- from their debut in 1978 with "Just What I Needed" until their breakup in 1988, they ruled the pop rock airwaves with a string of decade-defining hits. To this day, their most popular song "Drive," with its eerie vocals by the late Benjamin Orr, is the quintessential paean to teenage dysfunctional love. When the surviving Cars members – Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson – reunited for a world tour in 2011, the tickets sold out immediately. Their concert performance supporting their last album, "Move Like This," which came in at No. 2 on the charts, genuinely recreated the energy of a bouncier decade and introduced their signature sound to a new generation obsessed with bubblegum pop and neon. Ocasek was at his android-perfection best, delivering the sound the fans needed without the bizarre experimentation with classics that many concerts produce. The audience went wild with each precise recreation of radio-edit guitar solos.
In addition to generating the original musical genre of rockabilly meets synth, The Cars built themselves into cultural icons through their videos and "larger than cable tv" pesonalities. They pioneered the use of creative video on MTV with the bizarre "You Might Think," capturing Video of the Year at MTV's first music awards show. When lead singer Ric Ocasek married 19-year-old supermodel and video vixen Paulina Porizkova in 1984, it heralded the rise of Geek Power in popular culture that paved the way for “Harry Potter” and “Community.” Ocasek has capitalized on his legacy and resurgent popularity over the past few years by becoming a recurring guest on "The Colbert Report." After their latest album, 2011's "Move Like This," the band has move on to producing the next generation of artists in their wake. Quirky, energetic and oddly optimistic, the music of The Cars drove straight into the world of pop and shook it up for good.