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Released: June 6, 1978

Rating: 4.155 (average of 17 ratings)

Genre: rock > new wave

Quotable: “An album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans.” – Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Good Times Roll [3:44]
  2. My Best Friend’s Girl [3:44]
  3. Just What I Needed [3:44]
  4. I’m in Touch with Your World [3:31]
  5. Don’t Cha Stop [3:01]
  6. You’re All I’ve Got Tonight [4:13]
  7. Bye Bye Love [4:14]
  8. Moving in Stereo (Hawkes/ Ocasek) [5:15]
  9. All Mixed Up [4:14]

Songs written by Ric Ocasek unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 35:30

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 6.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 6.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 18
peak on U.K. album chart 29

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Just What I Needed (6/17/78) #27 US, #17 UK
  • My Best Friend’s Girl (10/21/78) #35 US, #3 UK
  • Good Times Roll (3/17/79) #49 US


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of my personal top 100 albums of all time. Click to learn more.

The Cars
The Cars
“The Cars’ 1978 self-titled debut…is a genuine rock masterpiece.” GP “American art-rock was often stilted and lacking in humor until the New Wave arrived. Liberated by the influence of the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music and punk-era fellow travelers like Blondie and Suicide, the Cars methodically linked hookiness (enough to produce three hit singles and several other FM favorites from this debut album) and at least one raised eyebrow.” RW

“Whereas most bands of the late ‘70s embraced either punk/new wave or hard rock, the Cars were one of the first bands to do the unthinkable – merge the two styles together. Add to it bandleader/songwriter Ric Ocasek’s supreme pop sensibilities, and you had an album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans.” GP “If charm wasn't their aim, the fact is, it’s undeniable.” RW

“One of the most popular new wave songs ever, Just What I Needed, is an obvious highlight, as are such familiar hits as Good Times Roll, My Best Friend's Girl, and You're All I've Got Tonight. But like most consummate rock albums, the lesser-known compositions are just as exhilarating – Don't Cha Stop, Bye Bye Love, All Mixed Up, and Moving in Stereo, the latter featured as an instrumental during a steamy scene in the popular movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” GP

“The band jokingly referred to the album as their ‘true greatest-hits album,’ but it's no exaggeration – all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics, still in rotation on rock radio.” GP “The result still plays as a rock & roll classic.” RW “With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumni Roy Thomas Baker), the Cars’ debut remains one of rock’s all-time classics.” GP

Review Sources:

Related DMDB Link(s):

next album: Candy-O (1979)

Just What I Needed

My Best Friend’s Girl (live)

Good Times Roll (live)

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Last updated March 23, 2011.