Music News

The Cars’ ‘Heartbeat City’ turns 40

todayMarch 13, 2024


Electra Records/Rhino

It was 40 years ago March 13 that The Cars released their fifth studio album, Heartbeat City, which was a blockbuster hit for the group.

Considered by many to be the band’s comeback album, Heartbeat City, produced by Mutt Lange, resulted in huge mainstream success for The Cars, with the album peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 Album chart and hitting #1 on the Billboard Rock Album chart. It went on to be certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA. 

Much of the album’s popularity was due to singles like “You Might Think” and “Drive,” both of which reached the Billboard Hot 100 top 10.

They both benefited from videos that received huge airplay on MTV, especially “You Might Think,” which was known for being one of the first videos to use computer graphics. The video had frontman Ric Ocasek following a model around in various places, with the graphics turning him into, among other things, a fly.

“It was very striking for its time,” Craig Marks, co-author of I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, tells ABC Audio, although he notes Ocasek “famously didn’t like the video. He thought it made fun of the way he looked, cause he kind of did look like a fly.”

Considering not many artists were making videos at the time, MTV embraced “You Might Think” and the video went on to win the first-ever Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards.

“It was a great meeting of commerce and art for The Cars and for MTV,” Marks says of the clip, noting it “did wonders for The Cars’ career.” 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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