3 Classics from The Cars

Drive – The Cars (1984) MFSL SACD FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Drive” was released in March 1984 on The Cars’ fifth studio album, Heartbeat City. I’m still on a Cars roll! 😉 This is a great great track and I’ve always wanted to play around with something for it. I really needed to spend more time adjusting the spiraling stars, etc. video clip as it’s not blended quite right to be able to see the performance clip….I did get the traffic time-lapse effect video to work much better…actually the whole thing looked nice (and different) with just that effect and I almost went with that edit, but it got just a tad repetitive. Hope you enjoy the show! Thanks for checking it out!

Heartbeat City was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Picking up a positive commercial response, the Cars had many tracks getting airplay, and singles “Drive” and “You Might Think” in particular both became Top 10 hits. The album also received supportive reviews from several critics; for example, Robert Christgau stated that “the glossy approach the Cars invented has made this the best year for pure pop in damn near twenty, and it’s only fair that they should return so confidently to form.”

Heartbeat City contains a total of five American Top 40 singles. Of these, “Drive” and “You Might Think” were also Top 10 hits, reaching the No. 3 and No. 7 positions, respectively. A number of songs from the album gained significant radio and TV exposure; most notably “You Might Think” and “Magic”, which both received heavy airplay on MTV.

The lead vocal on “Drive” was performed by bassist Benjamin Orr. The song’s video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton. It features Ric Ocasek arguing with a troubled young woman played by model Paulina Porizkova (whom Ocasek would later marry). “Hello Again” had a video directed by the legendary Andy Warhol, who also appeared onscreen.

The single “It’s Not the Night” reached No. 31 on the rock charts. The song “Stranger Eyes” was used in the theatrical trailer of the 1986 film Top Gun, but it never made it into the soundtrack. “Looking for Love” was later covered by Austrian singer Falco as “Munich Girls” on his 1985 album Falco 3.

When the Cars performed at Live Aid, they played three songs from the album (“You Might Think”, “Drive”, plus the album’s title track) alongside the fan favorite “Just What I Needed”.

Robert John “Mutt” Lange’s commitment to produce the Cars album meant that he told Def Leppard he could not work on their album, Hysteria. However, due to delays in that album’s recording, Lange was eventually able to produce it.

The cover art (including an image of a 1971 Plymouth Duster 340) is from a 1972 piece by Peter Phillips called Art-O-Matic Loop di Loop.

[Lyrics]
Who’s gonna tell you when
It’s too late
Who’s gonna tell you things
Aren’t so great

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Who’s gonna pick you up
When you fall
Who’s gonna hang it up
When you call
Who’s gonna pay attention
To your dreams
Who’s gonna plug their ears
When you scream

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Who’s gonna hold you down
When you shake
Who’s gonna come around
When you break

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Oh you know you can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

I’m In Touch With Your World – The Cars (1978) MFSL SACD FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“I’m In Touch With Your World” was released on The Cars’ self-titled debut album in June of 1978. This album sounded insanely brilliant in the summer of 1978, it was so unusual and powerful, one of the greatest debut’s in history.

I love every song on this record and wanted to shine a bit of light on one of the less known tracks, so I decided to to try something with this old performance video for “I’m In Touch With Your World”. I cleaned up the video and used some effects to light-up it up a bit and then edited it to the studio track (which was sourced from a Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs’ Super Audio CD FLAC).

The unusual percussion and keyboards (a big part of this songs appeal) are highlighted by Greg Hawkes’ performance, which I also turned up a notch or two with the video editing. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for watching!

The album, which featured the three charting singles “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll,” as well as several album-oriented rock radio hits, was a major success for the band, remaining on the charts for 139 weeks. It has been recognized as one of the band’s best albums.

Critically, the album was well received. AllMusic’s Greg Prato described it in a retrospective review as “a genuine rock masterpiece”, and stated that “all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics”. Prato continued, saying “With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumnus Roy Thomas Baker), The Cars’ debut remains one of rock’s all-time classics.” Rolling Stone magazine critic Kit Rachlis said “The pop songs are wonderful,” continuing that “Easy and eccentric at the same time, all are potential hits.” Rachlis, however, said that “The album comes apart only when it becomes arty and falls prey to producer Roy Thomas Baker’s lacquered sound and the group’s own penchant for electronic effects.” Rolling Stone also ranked the album No. 284 in its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. Robert Christgau said, “Ric Ocasek writes catchy, hardheaded-to-coldhearted songs eased by wryly rhapsodic touches, the playing is tight and tough, and it all sounds wonderful on the radio. But though on a cut-by-cut basis Roy Thomas Baker’s production adds as much as it distracts, here’s hoping the records get rawer.”

Elliot Easton said of the album, “We used to joke that the first album should be called The Cars Greatest Hits. We knew that a lot of great bands fall through the cracks. But we were getting enough feedback from people we respected to know that we were on the right track.”

The Cars featured a large amount of technology on many of its tracks, due to the band’s appreciation for new equipment. David Robinson said, “We’d always get the latest stuff from music stores even if it would be obsolete in two months. It reached the point where I’d have 10 or 12 foot switches to hit during a short set.”[1] The album also is notable for front-man Ric Ocasek’s use of irony and sarcasm. Keyboardist Greg Hawkes said, “There was definitely a little self-conscious irony in there. We started out wanting to be electric and straight-ahead rock, and it kind of turned into an artier kind of thing.”

David Robinson said in an interview that he “had designed a very different album cover [for The Cars] that cost $80.00 to design.” He continued, “I remember the price exactly. It was completely finished and everything, but it was a little more bizarre than the cover that they had in mind, so they changed some of it because of copyright problems and put it in as the inner sleeve. But I think that was way more how we envisioned who we were then.”[2]

Unlike many of The Cars’ album covers, the cover for The Cars was designed by the record company, rather than drummer David Robinson. The cover was not well liked by the members of the band, however. Robinson said, “I thought that when the Elektra came out it was way too slick. The pictures of us I didn’t like.”[2] Guitarist Elliot Easton expressed dislike for “that big grinning face,” saying, “Man, I got tired of that cover.”

The cover model is Natalya Medvedeva, a Russian-born model, singer, writer and journalist.

[Lyrics]
You can tuck it on the inside
You can throw it on the floor
You can wave it on the outside
Like you never did before
You get the diplomatic treatment
You get the force fed future
Get the funk after death
Get the Wisenheimer brainstorm

So don’t you try to hide it
(I’m in touch with your world)
And nobody’s gonna buy it
It’s such a lovely way to go
It’s such a lovely way to go

I been lying on your feathers
You keep talkin’ about the weather
I’m a psilocybin pony
You’re a flick fandango phoney
It’s a sticky contradiction
It’s a thing you call creation
Everything is science fiction
And I ought to know

So don’t you try to hide it
(I’m in touch with your world)
And nobody’s gonna buy it
It’s such a lovely way to go
It’s such a lovely way to go-uh-oh

Since I Held You – The Cars (1979) HD 192/24 FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Since I Held You” was released on The Cars’ second album, Candy-O, June of 1978. This album was very close to as great as their first one which was really an achievement for the band.

I’ve had a concept vid for “Dangerous Type” sitting around for 2 or 3 years which I think I’ll finish up soon….in the meantime I worked up a couple more live performance vids. This one features a 192kHz/24bit FLAC from the recent HD releases of their studio albums….they sound stunning, trust me.

From Wiki:
Unlike the first album, Candy-O was created under a more democratic approach. Ric Ocasek said of this, “When one of my songs goes to the band in barest cassette form, we sit around and talk about it. If I’m outvoted, we don’t do it. “We almost didn’t include ‘Double Life’ on the new album, it had been dropped. I think everybody in the Cars is open-minded and creative enough that they would do anything – nobody’s holding anything back. Everybody appreciates the more radical, experimental kinds of music and likes it. But sometimes, when you’re put together with five pieces, things are not as minimal as they could or should be. Everybody’s developed a unique personal style, and we rely on their input. If they did it, it’s good enough.”

For the album, the band once again worked with Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker. Ocasek said of their relationship with the producer, “Well, some of the things on that first album that we thought were a little slick, we toned down on the second, like on the background vocals. But if we were going to rely on the producer we had hired, there was no reason to try and change him. On the second album, it was easier to say, ‘Roy, let’s not do the multi-tracked harmonies this time.'”

The band’s label, Elektra, initially wanted to hold back the release of the album, but the band stood their ground. Ocasek said of this, “At first Elektra wanted to hold it back some, but we told them there was no way, because if they were going to hold that back, they were going to hold us back, and we can’t just sit around and be held back.” Released as the follow-up to their 1978 hit album The Cars, Candy-O peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The album re-entered the charts at No. 179 in 1984. The record was also ranked number 82 on Billboard’s “Top Albums of the Year” chart for 1979.

Three singles were lifted from Candy-O: “Let’s Go” hit No. 14, making it the first Top 20 Cars single, “It’s All I Can Do” peaked at No. 41, barely missing the Top 40, and “Double Life” failed to chart.

The album cover was painted by artist Alberto Vargas, who was known for his paintings of pin-up girls that appeared in Esquire and Playboy magazines in the 1940s through the 1960s. The idea to hire Vargas came from drummer David Robinson, the band’s artistic director and a collector of pin-ups. The 83-year-old Vargas had retired several years earlier but was persuaded to take the assignment by his niece, who was a fan of the Cars. The painting, depicting a woman sprawled across the hood of a car, was based on a photo shoot directed by Robinson at a Ferrari dealership. The model, coincidentally named Candy Moore (famous for having played Lucille Ball’s onscreen daughter on The Lucy Show), briefly dated Robinson afterward.

Rolling Stone critic Tom Carson said, “It’s almost inevitable that Candy-O, the Cars’ second album, doesn’t seem nearly as exciting as their first. The element of surprise is gone, and the band hasn’t been able to come up with anything new to replace it. Candy-O is an elaborately constructed, lively, entertaining LP that’s packed with good things. And it’s got a wonderful title. But it’s a little too disciplined, a shade too predictable.”

[Lyrics]
I really love the way you talk
I don’t mind sayin’ so
And oh, I love it when you dance
So silky slow
Oh, baby please don’t go

I know you refuse to get involved
You won’t help me out none
You run around like a paperdoll
Pretending it’s fun
Oh, baby please don’t run

Somethin’ in the night, just don’t sit right
Looks like I’m gonna be up all night, yeah

It’s been such a long time
Since I held you
I said, it’s been such a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you

I won’t forget the way you said
It doesn’t bother you much
Tutor impressions in your head
Just before the last touch
That meant so much

Somethin’ in the night, just don’t sit right
Looks like I’m gonna be up all night, yeah

It’s been such a long time
Since I held you
I said it’s been such a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you

It’s been a long time
It’s been a long time
It’s been a long time
Such a long time

Well, it’s been a long, long time
I said, it’s been a long, long time
It’s been a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you

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My friends are lying in the sun, I wish I was there.

Summer ’68 – Pink Floyd (1970) MFSL / 24KT Gold Ultra II Remaster HD 1080p Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Summer ’68” was released on Pink Floyd’s fifth studio album, Atom Heart Mother, in the fall of 1970. Excited to see that some long blocked Floyd tunes are back! Standby for the resurrection of my long my blocked epic “Atom Heart Mother” video, soon as I can find time for a few minor updates and edits of the video and sound….the cows shall moo again shortly! 😉

The video is Jan Švankmajer’s The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990)….a visionary filmmaker that I have several videos started that feature his work, this is the first one to get finished….not much editing on my part, it’s basically the short film set to the tune (although I did work some work on the film to make it look better in HD)…I could have edited it a bit more for a better sync, but you know?! 😉

Stalin’s bust is opened on an operating table, and this leads into an animated sequence which depicts Czech history from 1948, when it was taken over by Communists, to 1989, when the Velvet Revolution took place. Background knowledge of the historical context is required for one to fully understand and appreciate the entirely visual film.

The website Mubi gives the film a rating of four stars. [1]
Janet Maslin of The New York Times describes the film as being a “wonderfully apt short”, and describes the plot of “rush[ing] a statue of Stalin through drastic surgery, cranks out clay workers on an assembly line only to grind them back into clay” is “droll, breakneck satire”.

This album to me is an absolute one of a kind masterpiece, I like it much more than the more critically acclaimed earlier Floyd records. It seems that, according to a wiki article on the record, that both Roger and David have not thought as highly of it both recently making statements to the effect that it wasn’t up to par with the best Floyd efforts. This is a unique record, even from a band that specialized in unique records! It has always had a very otherworldly vibe going. I’ve heard it argued that it now sounds dated, but listening to it even today it sounds brilliant. I think that “dated” sound was intact when it was released in 1970, it’s just always sounded like something recorded from another time.
[Lyrics]
Would you like to say something before you leave?
Perhaps you’d care to state exactly how you feel.
We say goodbye before we’ve said hello.
I hardly even like you.
I shouldn’t care at all.
We met just six hours ago.
The music was too loud.
From your bed I gained a day and lost a bloody year.
And I would like to know, how do you feel?
How do you feel?
Not a single word was said.
Delights still without fears.
Occasionally you showed a smile, but what was the need?
I felt the cold far too soon – the wind of ninetyfive.
My friends are lying in the sun, I wish I was there.
Tomorrow brings another town, another girl like you.
Have you time before you leave to greet another man
Just to let me know, how do you feel?
How do you feel?
Goodbye to you.
Charlotte Kringles too.
I’ve had enough for one day.

“Are you there…Do you have a thought for me that you can share?”

Flying Sorcery – Al Stewart (1976) MFSL FLAC Audio 1080p Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Flying Sorcery” was released on Al Stewart’s seventh studio album, Year Of The Cat, in the summer of 1976. This is one of those rare records where just about every single song is a favorite!

I have quite a few new videos nearly finished (one thing or another not quite ready), but wanted to get something new out this morning…since I hadn’t done anything for Al since my summer update for my original “Palace of Versailles” https://youtu.be/4qym4I8TPWA ….I jumped into “Flying Sorcery” last night and finished it up in about 3 hours work. This is my 3rd video from the Year of the Cat album (check “Broadway Hotel” https://youtu.be/9kclYecZPs0 and “Year of the Cat” https://youtu.be/ACAK1Ck2ZM0 )…and my 9th Al Stewart video overall. My Year of the Cat videos all feature FLAC audio sourced from the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remaster….easily the best sounding release of the album!

Hope you enjoy the effort for another wonderful, beautiful Al Stewart song….thanks for checking out the video!

[Lyrics]
With your photographs of Kitty Hawk
And the biplanes on your wall
You were always Amy Johnson
From the time that you were small
No schoolroom kept you grounded
While your thoughts could get away
You were taking off in Tiger Moths
Your wings against the brush-strokes of the day
Are you there
On the tarmac with the winter in your hair
By the empty hangar doors you stop and stare
Leave the oil-drums behind you, they won’t care
Oh, are you there

Oh, you wrapped me up in a leather coat
And you took me for a ride
We were drifting with the tail-wind
When the runway came in sight
The clouds came up to gather us
And the cockpit turned to white
When I looked the sky was empty
I suppose you never saw the landing-lights
Are you there
In your jacket with the grease-stain and the tear
Caught up in the slipstream of dare
The compass roads will guide you anywhere
Oh, are you there

The sun comes up on Icarus as the night-birds sail away
And lights the maps and diagrams
That Leonardo makes
You can see Faith, Hope and Charity
As they bank above the fields
You can join the flying circus
You can touch the morning air against your wheels
Are you there
Do you have a thought for me that you can share
Oh I never thought you’d take me unawares
Just call me if you ever need repairs
Oh, are you there