Tuesday, November 24, 2020

"Strap Me In" by The Cars

Song#:  3328
Date:  11/14/1987
Debut:  94
Peak:  85
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The Cars' Door to Door album didn't get off to the best start. Its first single, "You Are the Girl," did fine at Rock (#2) and AC (#12), but it didn't meet expectations at Pop where it stalled at #17. It was a disappointment since their previous two studio albums and one compilation all began with Top 10 hits. To try and reignite interest in the band, this second single was pushed out. Again, it did well at rock reaching #4, but over at Pop it did far worse. It only spent a month on the chart and became the lowest peaking single of the band's career. The lack of a better follow-up played into album sales with Door to Door missing their first album to miss the Top 20 (#26) and their first to not go platinum (it would reach gold level sales).

ReduxReview:  "You Are the Girl" was a bouncy synthpop ditty that made The Cars sound tired. It was an uninteresting been-there-done-that track from an album that was supposed to be more rock oriented. This follow-up track was more in-line with those expectations. The beefy guitars outweighed the synths and it did make The Cars sound more like a band than one that was doing a lot of synth programming, which was a good thing. However, the song itself wasn't all that great. It played well at Rock, but the darker sounding track wasn't a fit for Pop. It didn't have the alluring, candy-coated hooks found on the band's bigger hits that sounded great on the radio. Still, this was a better song than "You Are the Girl."

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  While in the studio recording the Door to Door album, the band began messing around and jamming, perhaps in hopes of stumbling upon an idea for a song. As they were playing along, they found themselves playing a song from their early days. The tune was called "Ta Ta Wayo Wayo" and although it was one the band had performed in the late 70s before they released their 1978 debut LP, they never actually got around to recording it. They did do a demo of the song in 1977, but apparently it was set aside in favor of other songs for their debut LP. The song had basically become nearly forgotten until the band started to riff on it in the studio. Needing songs for the new album, they decided to let the song have its day. Also on the LP was another song from the same time period that never got recorded. "Leave or Stay" finally saw the light of day on Door to Door.


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