Drive (The Cars song)

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Single by The Cars
from the album Heartbeat City
B-side "Stranger Eyes"
Released July 23, 1984 (1984-07-23)
Format 7"
Recorded November 1983
Genre New wave, soft rock
Length 3:54
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Ric Ocasek
Producer(s) Robert John "Mutt" Lange
The Cars
The Cars singles chronology
"Hello Again"
Music sample

"Drive" is a 1984 song by The Cars, the third single from the band's Heartbeat City album released in March 1984 and their biggest international hit. It was written by Ric Ocasek and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange with the band.[1] Lead vocals were sung by Cars bassist Benjamin Orr.[2]

"Drive" was The Cars' highest charting single in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On the Adult Contemporary chart, the song went to number one.[3] It reached number five in the UK Singles Chart on its initial release; following its use at the Live Aid concert in 1985 as the background music to a montage of clips depicting the contemporaneous Ethiopian famine,[4][5] the song was re-released and peaked at number four. It reached number four in West Germany and number six in Canada.

In a retrospective review of the single, AllMusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song for being "a gorgeous ballad that matches heartfelt songwriting to an alluring electronic soundscape. The music reflects the lyrical tone with a lovely melody that rises and falls in a soothing yet sad fashion."[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton and features model and actress Paulina Porizkova, who would later become Ric Ocasek's wife.[7] The video alternates between shots of Orr sitting in a disused nightclub, facing mannequins posed at the bar as customers and bartender, and scenes that depict the breakdown of a relationship between the characters played by Ocasek and Porizkova. Ultimately left alone, the woman cries and laughs hysterically for a time before visiting the nightclub. She looks sadly in through a dirty window at the stage, where tuxedo-clad mannequins of the band members are posed with their instruments as if playing a show, and turns to walk away as the video ends.

Track listing[edit]

7" single
  1. "Drive"
  2. "Stranger Eyes"[8]
12" single
  1. "Drive"
  2. "My Best Friend's Girl"
  3. "Stranger Eyes"[9]


Chart (1984) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 8
Canadian RPM 100 6
Dutch Singles Chart 12
Irish Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 9
New Zealand Singles Chart 5
Swedish Singles Chart 15
Swiss Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 4
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary 1
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks 9

Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ric Ocasek Rocks CBGB | Music News". Rolling Stone. 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  2. ^ "Drive by The Cars Songfacts". 1984-05-12. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 49. 
  4. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 13 | 1985: Was Live Aid the best rock concert ever?". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  5. ^ "Geldolf Live Aid". 
  6. ^ Donald A. Guarisco. "Drive - The Cars | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Video Classics: "Drive" – The Cars". CBS. February 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cars, The - Drive (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  9. ^ "Cars, The - Drive (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  10. ^ Kritik von Martin Mengele. "Drive von Scorpions – – Song". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  11. ^ "Various - 50 First Dates - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  12. ^ "Jason Donovan's Drive cover of The Cars's Drive". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  13. ^ Rick Fulton (2010-10-23). "Jason Donovan reveals how becoming a dad helped him kick cocaine habit". Daily Record. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  14. ^ Jeff Cornell (2014-08-27). "Sixx: A.M. Reveal Their Cover of The Cars’ Classic ‘Drive’". Loudwire Network. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 

External links[edit]