Complete List Of The Cars Band Members

The Cars Band Members

Feature Photo: swimfinfan, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Complete List Of The Cars Band Members looks at the consistent lineup of the band The Cars. The band released seven studio albums, including their debut in 1978. The band never changed its lineup during its initial run. The lineup only changed on their comeback album, Move Like This, which was released twenty-four years after their original run had ended. The lineup change was due to the passing of Benjamin Orr.

This list does not include the members of the band when they were called The New Cars, which never released an album and only toured with Todd Rundgren for two years, serving as the lead vocalist. That lineup also included drummer Prairie Prince, bassist Kasim Sulton, and original members keyboardist Greg Hawkes and guitarist Elliot Easton.

Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek was a founding member of The Cars, serving as the rhythm guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter for the band from its inception in 1976 until its initial disbandment in 1988. Ocasek was known for his distinctive voice and innovative songwriting, contributing to all of The Cars’ albums. His work was pivotal in defining the band’s sound, particularly evident in albums like “The Cars” (1978), “Candy-O” (1979), and “Heartbeat City” (1984). After the band’s breakup, Ocasek had a successful solo career and became a sought-after music producer, working with bands such as Weezer and No Doubt. He briefly reunited with The Cars for their 2011 album “Move Like This,” which was their first album in 24 years. Ocasek’s influence extended beyond his band contributions, as he was involved in the production of numerous albums for other artists.

Benjamin Orr

Benjamin Orr was a co-founder of The Cars, playing bass guitar and sharing lead vocals with Ric Ocasek. Orr’s tenure with the band spanned from its formation in 1976 until the initial breakup in 1988. His vocal work is prominent on several of the band’s hits, including “Drive,” one of their most famous songs from the “Heartbeat City” album. Orr was known for his smooth voice and compelling stage presence. In addition to his contributions to The Cars, Orr released a solo album, “The Lace,” in 1986, which produced the hit single “Stay the Night.” Orr’s work with The Cars and his solo efforts showcased his versatile talent in both singing and bass playing. Tragically, Orr passed away in 2000, making any potential full reunion of the original band impossible.

Elliot Easton

Elliot Easton was the lead guitarist for The Cars, contributing to the band’s sound with his skilled guitar work from its formation in 1976 until the group disbanded in 1988. Easton’s solos and riffs were integral to The Cars’ hits, adding a distinctive rock edge to their new wave sound. He played on all the band’s albums, highlighting his versatile guitar skills across various styles. After The Cars disbanded, Easton pursued a solo career and participated in various musical projects, including playing in bands like Creedence Clearwater Revisited. He rejoined The Cars for their 2011 reunion album “Move Like This,” contributing to the band’s legacy with his signature guitar playing.

Greg Hawkes

Greg Hawkes played keyboards for The Cars, joining the band at its inception in 1976 and remaining until its disbandment in 1988. Hawkes’ keyboard and synthesizer work were crucial to the band’s sound, blending rock with new wave and pop elements. He was known for his innovative use of synthesizers, which was particularly evident on albums like “Heartbeat City.” After The Cars broke up, Hawkes worked on various music projects, including solo work and collaborations with other artists. He was part of The Cars’ reunion in 2011 for the “Move Like This” album, once again bringing his distinctive keyboard style to their music.

David Robinson

David Robinson, the drummer for The Cars, was part of the band from its beginning in 1976 through to its breakup in 1988 and then again for the reunion in 2011. Robinson’s drumming provided a solid backbone for The Cars’ music, combining rock beats with new wave rhythms. He was also responsible for the band’s visual aspects, including album covers and stage setups. Before joining The Cars, Robinson played in other influential bands, including The Modern Lovers. His contributions to The Cars extended beyond his drumming to shaping the band’s image and style, playing a key role in their visual and musical identity.

Special consideration for….

Jacknife Lee

Jacknife Lee was not an original member of The Cars. He worked on The Cars’ 2011 reunion album “Move Like This,” their first album in 24 years, and marked their return to the music scene after a long hiatus. Jacknife Lee played bass on the album since Benjamin Orr had passed away in 2000.

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