Sunday, September 6, 2020

"You Are the Girl" by The Cars

Song#:  3249
Date:  08/29/1987
Debut:  65
Peak:  17
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The Boston band had their greatest period of success in the 80s over the course of two studio albums and a hits package, which combined sold over 12 million copies and generated four Pop Top 10s. After a break that saw some members doing their own side solo projects, the band reconvened in the studio to record their sixth album Door to Door. This first single got things started and it did well at Rock reaching #2 on that chart. It also didn't do too bad at AC getting to #12. However, the song wasn't as well-received at Pop where it could only make the Top 20. It was a bit of a disappointment coming on the heels of their most successful period. The song would end up being the band's last to reach the Pop Top 40. 

ReduxReview:  To me, this was the sound of The Cars giving up. The song was not much different from a lot of their other material but the difference was that it just sounded tired. The tune had zero spark. The crunchy new wave production that they had perfected over the years was missing and even Ocasek's vocal sounded like he was bored. Kinda like, "okay, let's trod out something one more time." Which is basically what they did since they broke up after the album. You'd think that after getting a chance to do their own thing on solo projects, the band would return rejuvenated with new ideas and create something different. Instead, it seems they just decided to phone it in and do the regular Cars thing, only not as good. A couple of songs on the album were even ones they wrote years previous, which was kind of a sign that things were not going all that well with the band and their creativity together waning. Despite the disappointing results, The Cars could always take solace that they created some revered classic singles and albums in their career.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The video for this song was directed by cult filmmaker John Waters. The shoot happened around the time that Waters was filming what would be his first big mainstream movie Hairspray. Cars leader Ric Ocasek ended up with a small part in the film at a beatnik painter. It's unknown which came first, the video or Ocasek's cameo in the film, but it wasn't The Cars' first time working with a more avant-garde director. For the video to their 1984 #20 hit "Hello Again," the band worked with artist Andy Warhol. While Waters' Hairspray wouldn't be a huge box office success, it did become a big cult film that eventually became a Tony-winning musical, which itself was turned into a movie.


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