Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Just What I Needed”
I've been saying for years, here at New Jersey 101.5, we have just what YOU need on weekends: Jersey's Favorite Hits, Fast Traffic, Instant Weekend Weather...
And, thanks to Jersey's Favorite Hits, WE have "Just What I Needed" from the Cars!
The Cars formed in Boston in 1976...getting their start at "The Rat Club."
Another source states that the band's first live show took place at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire on December 31, 1976!
Ric Ocasek handled lead vocals and rhythm guitar, with Benjamin Orr on bass guitar and vocals, David Robinson on drums and backing vocals, Elliot Easton on lead guitar and backing vocals, and Greg Hawkes on keyboards, sax and backing vocals.
The new wave-leaning pop band that we know and love evolved in part from the folk-rock band "Milkwood."
Ocasek and Orr had recorded an album together under that name in 1973, with Hawkes on keyboards!
The name "Cars" came from Robinson, whose fashion sense would also have its impact on the look of the new rock band.
Ric Ocasek was living in a commune in Newton Massachusetts when he wrote "Just What I Needed." In fact, he wrote the song in the commune basement!
While Ocasek wrote the song, and was the band's lead singer and bassist, he didn't sing lead on his own song...lead vocal on "Just What I Needed" was performed by Benjamin Orr.
A two-track demo recording of this future hit would become the most-requested song by a local band, at Boston's leading rock radio station!
The Cars' manager took the song to a second Boston station...where it also got lots of radio airplay. COOL!
Elektra Records took notice, and signed the Cars to a record deal...
"Just What I Needed" was re-recorded.
"Just What I Needed" would be the Cars debut single!
It would peak at #27 on the Hot 100 charts in the summer of 1978.
"Just What I Needed" would stay on the charts for 17 weeks.
In 1978, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Creem (among others) named the Cars their Best New Artist of the Year.
The band lost the Best New Artist Grammy to "A Taste Of Honey."
Meanwhile...our spotlight song would remain a mainstay of Rock (Album) radio for years to come...and its one of "Jersey's Favorite Hits!
Further, 7 years after it was first released, "Just What I Needed" made another appearance as a single!
This time, it was as the "B" side of the Cars' last Top-10 hit, "Tonight She Comes."
And, we're still not done with the FUN FACTS!
The song was used in the opening credits of the Oscar-winning film "Boys Don't Cry," starring Hillary Swank.
Remember a few years ago, "Just What I Needed" was used by (the now gone) Circuit City...
...it was not only the soundtrack of their ads, the chain store used the slogan "Just What I Needed."
"The Cars" are just what WE need, here at New Jersey 101.5...and at nj1015.com!