Why Can’t I Have You (1/26/85) #28a US, #11 AR, #38 AC
“Buddy Holly-meets-Roxy Music was the hook-filled formula Ric Ocasek and crew fell into on their classic 1978 debut – and it’s one they continued to milk throughout the first half of the ‘80s. As in any formula, it seemed to dilute a bit with each subsequent release. Heartbeat City, however, saw the Cars shaking things up a bit.” BH
“MTV had become a major marketing tool by 1984, and the Cars were one of the first bands to use the new video medium to their advantage. The band’s fifth album, Heartbeat City (Elektra), spawned several imaginative and memorable videos, which translated into massive chart and commercial success, making it one of the biggest releases of the year. Produced by hitmaker John ‘Mutt’ Lange (AC/DC, Def Leppard), the album included two Top Ten singles – …the charismatic You Might Think,” GP which has “that same old Cars pop song,” BH and the ballad Drive, with a rare lead vocal by Benjamin Orr instead of Ric Ocasek.
That latter hit and “the summer anthem Magic” GP “sound unlike anything the Boston band had previously recorded.” BH “Magic” “and the eccentric Hello Again” GP proved hitworthy as well, both landing in the U.S. top 20.
“But it didn’t just stop there, plenty of other tracks could have been hits as well, such as the sparse rocker It’s Not the Night and the breezy pop of Looking for Love. Other highlights included the ethereal title track, the melodic rocker Stranger Eyes, and the moderately paced love song Why Can’t I Have You. Although the Cars experienced their greatest success yet with Heartbeat City, it would unfortunately not last for long – after just one more studio album (1987’s spotty Door to Door), the band split up.” GP