Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Why Can't I Have You" by The Cars

Song#:  2195
Date:  01/26/1985
Debut:  79
Peak:  33
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  This Boston band's LP Heartbeat City would sell over four million copies thanks to four Top 20 hits including their #3 ballad "Drive." After the quartet of hit singles, the album was beginning to wane, but in order to extend its popularity it was decided that this fifth single would be issued. While the song got some attention at Rock radio and reached #11 on that chart, it seemed that the Pop audience was losing interest and the single stalled just inside the Top 40. It would close a highly successful chapter in the band's career.

ReduxReview:  This mysterious track works well for the band, but it doesn't really click as a single. I think they should have called it at four singles and left this to just Rock radio airplay. It sold a few singles, but it probably wasn't enough to really have made any difference to their bottom line, especially considering the promotional costs, which included a video made for the song. It's definitely a quality track that works well on the album, but there was no need to push it out as a single. I think record companies started to get greedy after Michael Jackson's seven single run from "Thriller" and just tried to eke out every dollar they could from any album that hit big, like Heartbeat City.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The Cars were one of those successful American bands that never fully caught on in the UK. Prior to Heartbeat City, only four of their singles reached the UK chart with "My Best Friend's Girl" being their only Top 10 entry at #3. They finally got a second UK Top 10 when "Drive" reached #4. Two other singles were issued in the UK with minimal results. "You Might Think" reached #88 while the track "Heartbeat City," which was not issued as a single in the US, got to #78. None of their albums would get higher than #25. Despite the lack of results on the charts, the band's tours in the UK and Europe were highly successful.


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