My Best Friend's Girl (song)
|"My Best Friend's Girl"|
|Single by The Cars|
|from the album The Cars|
|B-side||"Moving in Stereo"|
|Released||October 10, 1978|
|Recorded||AIR Studios, London, February 1978|
|Producer||Roy Thomas Baker|
|The Cars singles chronology|
"My Best Friend's Girl" is a song by American rock band The Cars from their 1978 self-titled debut album on Elektra Records. 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!.
"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. 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. An organ is introduced in the first chorus, followed by a rockabilly guitar lick which leads to the second verse. The song is composed in contrasting verse-chorus form. 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. The lyrics depict a man's frustration with a girl who is dating his best friend after the man dated her. The narrator coolly notes, "She's my best friend's girl, but she used to be mine."
Release and reception
Released in October 1978, "My Best Friend's Girl" entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending October 21. It peaked at number 35 on the charts in December. 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. The single was the first picture disc available commercially in the UK.
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," and Rolling Stone writer Kit Rachlis called it a wonderful pop song. "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. Some critics have noted the song's similarity in style to Fountains of Wayne's 2003 hit single "Stacy's Mom".
Nirvana performed "My Best Friend's Girl" at their final concert on March 1, 1994 in Munich. Punk rock band The Frustrators included a cover version of the song on their 2002 album Achtung Jackass. Bluegrass novelty band Hayseed Dixie covered the song on their 2002 album A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love. Australian hard rock band The Choirboys performed the song on their 2006 album Big Bad & Acoustic. Jamaican reggae singer Half Pint covered it on his 2008 album No Stress Express. Kris Delmhorst includes it on her 2011 album Cars; her version of the song was getting airplay at Starbucks outlets in October of that year.
- 7" Vinyl
- "My Best Friend's Girl" (Ocasek) – 3:44
- "Moving in Stereo" (Hawkes, Ocasek) – 5:15
|Australian ARIA Singles Chart||67|
|Canadian Singles Chart||55|
|Dutch Top 40||40|
|UK Singles Chart||3|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||35|
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