You should be sleeping.

Wide Awake – Elliot Easton (1985) FLAC Audio HDR 4K Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Wide Awake” was released on Elliot Easton’s first (and only) solo record, Change No Change in 1985 on Elektra Records. It was re-released in 1996 by Elektra Traditions/Rhino Records (with 5 bonus tracks), and again released by Wounded Bird in 2006 .

I picked up this record in 1985 and was immediately disappointed that it didn’t sound more Cars-like. I really wanted to hear more of those amazingly, off-kilter guitar solos that made Elliot one of my very favorite guitarists. The solo that I found that came closest to his Cars sound was on “Wide Awake” which absolutely helped make that track my favorite off the album. I was in good company too as it turns out: In the liner notes to the re-release, both Easton and Shear cite “Wide Awake” as their favorite track from the album, with Shear saying “It has a little fairy dust quality about it with all the singing.”

Through the years I’ve come to enjoy this record much more and appreciate the different things that Elliot trying. There are other great songs on the album (including some of the bonus tracks) and I may do a couple more equalizer quickies just to do my bit to get them some additional exposure and recognition.

The video was a really quick excuse for me to listen to this song 20 times in a row! 😉 and even though I opted for one of my equalizer style vids which don’t require as much thought or effort, I probably should have given it a full treatment using some of the effects I found…with more photos and consistency with the sleeping models. It’s the high quality FLAC audio that is what is important here and I hope you enjoy this great song.

The original album consists of ten songs written by Easton and Jules Shear, who also contributed background vocals. Easton plays all guitars, including 12-string guitar, sitar and bass. The album’s producers were Stephen Hague, who had played with Shear in Jules and the Polar Bears, and synth player Jon Mathias. Roy Thomas Baker, who had produced the first four Cars albums, is given thanks in the credits for his encouragement of Easton’s solo project, but did not act as a producer.

The 1996 and 2006 releases feature five tracks from the unreleased debut album by Band of Angels (not to be confused with the mid-60s pop group A Band of Angels), a project Easton formed with singer Danny Malone. Easton does not sing lead on these tracks. “Walk on Walden” is an instrumental on 12-string guitar in drop D tuning.

[Lyrics]
Anyone? 😉

 

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

I don’t mind you comin’ here And wastin’ all my time

Just What I Needed – The Cars (1978) FLAC Audio Remaster HD Video

“Just What I Needed” was released on The Cars’ eponymous debut album, in June of 1978. This was one of the great albums of the late seventies and we all listened to it constantly back in the day….such an insanely fresh and cool sounding record. Lots of seriously great parties come to mind when I think of this record! 😉

I worked the effects to the performance video quite awhile back, but even though I thought it would work straight without any extra edits or effects, I decided there was too many empty spaces and it needed some extra bits….filled in with the drummer clip and the (admittedly kinda cheesy! 😉 blowing perfume and ribbons….but the main thing is there is a really fine lossless track behind the video ….as usual your mileage will vary with the lip-sync….as with all the other performance vids I’ve tried to work to a high quality studio track, timing can be tricky because the speeds, and lyric delivery are often different. For the life of my I cannot figure out why it is that videos which are clearly synced correctly to audio so often become out of sync when viewed……i understand there can be lags when watching video streams, etc., but what I can’t understand is how the audio and video become out of sync when they are matched and locked in the original video? Anyone out there can help explain this would be awesome as I’m struggling to make sense of this fact.

Critically, the album was well received. AllMusic reviewer Greg Prato described it as “a genuine rock masterpiece”, and that “all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics” in their retrospective review. Prato continued, saying “With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumni 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.”

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.”

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.” 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]
I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time
‘Cause when you’re standin’, oh so near
I kinda lose my mind

It’s not the perfume that you wear
It’s not the ribbons in your hair
And I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time

I don’t mind you hangin’ out
And talkin’ in your sleep
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been
As long as it was deep, yeah

You always knew to wear it well and
You look so fancy I can tell
I don’t mind you hangin’ out
And talkin’ in your sleep

I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed

I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time, time
‘Cause when you’re standin’, oh so near
I kinda lose my mind, yeah

It’s not the perfume that you wear
It’s not the ribbons in your hair
I don’t mind you comin’ here
And wastin’ all my time

I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed

I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess, you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed
Yeah, yeah, so bleed me

You’re just what I needed
You’re just what I needed
You’re just what I needed
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Uh, oh, I touched your star

Touch and Go – The Cars (1980) 192kHz/24bit Audio Remaster HD Video

“Touch and Go” was released on the Cars’ third studio album, Panorama, in the summer of 1980.

Until now, The Cars have been one of the last of my very favorite bands that I hadn’t made even a single video for….though there are of course parts scattered about mind and drives! 🙂 This was a band that I was a huge fan of until the very end (of course Ric released a string of amazing strong solo albums….also thinking of some of my favorites in those mines!)….wow, we used to have a good time all over the place with The Cars playing in the background. This video was to be just another of my simple attempts at a stylish cartoony moving picture edit and it was actually almost finished before something went terribly wrong and even after every trick I knew to save the project, I finally gave up and almost decided not to redo it….I eventually had to re-render the video and start from scratch with the editing….ugh. ;-( It’s difficult to make the original low res source video (again for these efforts I really want to try and achieve the effect of a painting in motion!) I had look spanking new in HD 1080p, but you at least get the 24bit Remastered track as the source…..which sounds amazing! I hope you enjoy “Touch and Go” and THANKS FOR WATCHING!

Elliot Easton is such a truly great guitar player….a good sized chunk of my very favorite and tastiest! guitar solos are Elliot Easton’s….put on any Cars album and listen to Elliot’s work if you need to be reminded! 😉

The record marked a change from the upbeat pop rock and hard rock of the group’s previous albums, representing a more aggressive and experimental sound. It was not as commercially successful as The Cars’ previous or subsequent albums (until 1987’s Door to Door). However, it did hit #5 on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

As a single off the album, the song “Touch and Go” peaked at #37 on the Billboard 200.

[Lyrics]
All I need is what you’ve got
All I’ll tell is what you’re not
All you know is what you hear
I get this way when you come near

Then I know it’s gone too far
Uh, oh, I touched your star
And it felt so right
Just like the hush of midnight
And then you said
With me it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-o-o

All I need is you tonight
Flying like a cement kite, yeah
In your headlock on the floor
Who could ever ask for more

And I know it’s gone too far
Uh, oh, I touched your star
And it felt so right
Just like the hush of midni-ight
And then you said
With me it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-o-o

All I want is you tonight
I guess that dress does fit you tight, yeah
You know that look does make me shake
It almost looks too good to fake

And I know it’s gone too far
Uh, oh, I touched your star-r-r
And it felt so right
Just like the hush of midni-ight
Then you said
With me it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-o-o

Well it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Its touch and go-o-o-o

Well it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-wo yeah

Well it’s touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go-o-o-o
Touch and go

All I need is what you’ve got

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