Just What I Needed

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This article is about the song. For the compilation, see Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology.
"Just What I Needed"
Single by The Cars
from the album The Cars
B-side "I'm in Touch with Your World"
Released May 29, 1978 (1978-05-29)
Format 7"
Recorded AIR Studios, London, February 1978
Length 3:44
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Ric Ocasek
Producer(s) Roy Thomas Baker
The Cars singles chronology
"Just What I Needed"
"My Best Friend's Girl"

"Just What I Needed" is a song by American rock band The Cars, released as their debut single from their self-titled debut album, released in 1978 on Elektra Records.


"Just What I Needed" was sung by the Cars' bassist Benjamin Orr. The single peaked at number 27 in the US and number 17 in the UK. It also reached #38 in New Zealand.[1] This song first appeared in 1977 on Boston radio stations WCOZ and WBCN from the Cars' demo tape. Shortly thereafter it became one of the stations' most requested songs.[2] "Just What I Needed", along with the entire The Cars album, was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series May 27, 2008. The song was featured during the end credits of Item 47, a short film that is part of the Marvel One-Shots DTV series that was packaged with the release of The Avengers on Blu-ray.


Allmusic reviewer Donald A. Guarisco praised it as "a clever pop song", commenting that "Elliot Easton's fiery guitar leads duel with Greg Hawkes' icy synth lines over a throbbing pop/rock backbeat while Benjamin Orr lays down a fey, detached vocal that captures the sarcastic edge of the lyrics with skill."[3] The song has a minimalistic power pop sound, although has been described as having a hard rock punch by Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists when talking about the band's lead guitarist Elliot Easton, and his notoriety as a rock guitarist.[4]

Other appearances in media[edit]

  • Now-defunct electronics store chain Circuit City used this song in their commercials from 1998 until their demise in 2008.
  • In 2014 the song featured in an advert to EDF Energy.

Album appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Just What I Needed". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ Scott, Jane. "The Cars take off fast in record derby" The Plain Dealer June 9, 1978: Friday 28
  3. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "The Cars: Just What I Needed". Allmusic. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Pete Prown, Harvey P. Newquist, Jon F. Eiche. "The essential reference of rock's greatest guitarists". Books.Google.com.

External links[edit]