My Best Friend's Girl (song)

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"My Best Friend's Girl"
Single by The Cars
from the album The Cars
B-side "Don't Cha Stop" (US, Japan)
"Moving in Stereo" (Europe)
Released October 10, 1978 (1978-10-10)
Format 7"
Recorded AIR Studios, London, February 1978
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 3:40
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Ric Ocasek
Producer(s) Roy Thomas Baker
The Cars singles chronology
"Just What I Needed"
(1978)
"My Best Friend's Girl"
(1978)
"Good Times Roll"
(1979)
The Cars track listing
"Good Times Roll"
(1)
"My Best Friend's Girl"
(2)
"Just What I Needed"
(3)
Music sample

"My Best Friend's Girl" is a song by American rock band The Cars from their 1978 self-titled debut album on Elektra Records, released on June 6 of that year. Written by Ric Ocasek and produced by Roy Thomas Baker, the song was released as the album's second single. It peaked at number 35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and reached number three in the UK. "My Best Friend's Girl" was included on the soundtrack to the 1979 film Over the Edge, and the song appears on numerous compilation albums, such as the band's 1985 Greatest Hits, 1995's Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, and 2002's Complete Greatest Hits. A live version of the song by The New Cars appears on their 2006 debut album, It's Alive!. The song originates from late 1976-early 1977 as another successful demo, like "Just What I Needed", of the song was done.[1]

Composition[edit]

"My Best Friend's Girl" begins with chords in the lower register of the guitar, a two-bar progression moving from I to IV to V in F.[2] Hand claps enter in bar five, and after the eight-bar intro, the first verse begins featuring Ric Ocasek's vocals over a lead guitar lick in the key of F.[2] An organ is introduced in the first chorus, followed by a rockabilly guitar lick which leads to the second verse.[2] The song is composed in contrasting verse-chorus form.[2] Interestingly, the song was originally written and recorded in E major, one semitone lower, then the entire master tape was sped up to place it in F major. Many live performances show the band performing the song in E.[3] The lyrics depict a man's frustration with a woman who is dating his best friend after the man dated her.[4] The narrator coolly[5] notes, "She's my best friend's girl, but she used to be mine."[4]

Release and reception[edit]

Released in October 1978, "My Best Friend's Girl" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending October 21.[6] It peaked at number 35 on the charts in December.[6] In addition, the song reached number 40 on the Dutch Top 40, number 55 in Canada, and number 67 in Australia. The song was the highest-charting UK single of the band's career, peaking at number three in November 1978.[7] The single was the first picture disc available commercially in the UK.[8][9][10]

Music critics have given the track generally favorable reviews. AllMusic's Donald A. Guarisco called the song "one of the classics of the Cars' catalog",[4] and Rolling Stone writer Kit Rachlis called it a wonderful pop song.[11] "My Best Friend's Girl" was ranked the 12th best song of 1978 by critics Dave Marsh and Kevin Stein, and it was named one of "The 1001 Best Songs Ever" in a 2003 issue of Q magazine.[12] Some critics have noted the song's similarity in style to Fountains of Wayne's 2003 hit single "Stacy's Mom".[13][14][15]

Other versions[edit]

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl
  1. "My Best Friend's Girl" (Ocasek) – 3:44
  2. "Moving in Stereo" (Hawkes, Ocasek) – 5:15

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[22] 67
Canadian Singles Chart[23] 55
Dutch Top 40[24] 40
UK Singles Chart[7] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[25] 35

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It's Alive - Overview". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d Moore, Allan F. (2003). Analyzing Popular Music. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 188–190. ISBN 978-0-521-77120-7. 
  3. ^ The Cars, Complete Greatest Hits: Guitar Recorded Versions Universal Music Publishing Group, distributed by Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-4584-1562-2
  4. ^ a b c Guarisco, Donald A. ""My Best Friend's Girl" - Song Review". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  5. ^ Charlton, Katherine (2006). Rock Music Styles (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-07-312162-8. 
  6. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). New York: Billboard Books (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.). p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8230-7499-0. 
  7. ^ a b "'My Best Friend's Girl' - Chart History". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  8. ^ McAleer, Dave (2004). Hit Singles: Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day (5th ed.). Milwaukee, Wisc.: Backbeat Books (Hal Leonard). p. 208. ISBN 978-0-87930-808-7. 
  9. ^ Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. New York: Chicago Review Press (Independent Publishers Group). p. 53. ISBN 978-1-55652-754-8. 
  10. ^ Rees, Dafydd; Crampton, Luke (1991). Rock Movers and Shakers: An A-Z of People Who Made Rock Happen (8th ed.). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-87436-661-7. 
  11. ^ Rachlis, Kit (1997-06-17). "The Cars - Music Review". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  12. ^ "The Cars - 'My Best Friend's Girl'". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  13. ^ Bumgardner, Ed (2003-07-18). "Truths: Fountains of Wayne Indulges in Delightful Thievery". Winston-Salem Journal (Media General). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  14. ^ Layman, Will (2007-04-16). "Fountains of Wayne: Too Smart to Be a Rock Band, Too Smart to Be Anything Else". Pop Matters. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  15. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (2007-05-02). "Fountains of Wayne Just Do That Thing They Do. Apparently, It Isn't Very Much.". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  16. ^ Cross, Charles R. (November 2008). "Exit...Stage Left". Guitar World (Future US, Inc.) 29 (11): 52. ISSN 1045-6295. 
  17. ^ Heylin, Clinton (2004). Bootleg: The Rise And Fall Of The Secret Recording Industry. London: Omnibus Press. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-84449-151-3. 
  18. ^ "Achtung Jackass - Review". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  19. ^ "A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love - Overview". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  20. ^ "Big Bad & Acoustic - Overview". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  21. ^ "No Stress Express - Review". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  22. ^ "Chart Positions Pre-1989". Australian Charts. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  23. ^ "RPM 100". RPM (RPM Music Publications Ltd.) 30 (17). 1979-01-20. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  24. ^ "'My Best Friend's Girl' - Chart history". UltraTop. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  25. ^ "The Cars - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04. 

External links[edit]