Moving in Stereo

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"Moving in Stereo"
Song by The Cars from the album The Cars
Released June 6, 1978 (1978-06-06)
Genre Rock, hard rock, new wave
Length 4:46 (Album Version)
3:27 (Single Version)
Label Elektra
Writer Greg Hawkes, Ric Ocasek
Producer Roy Thomas Baker
The Cars track listing

"Moving in Stereo" is a song by the American rock band The Cars. It appeared on their first album, The Cars, released in 1978. It was also released as the B-side of the band's "My Best Friend's Girl" single in 1978. It is one of the few Cars' songs partially written by the band's keyboard player, Greg Hawkes.

The song was used in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, where it accompanied Judge Reinhold's fantasy of Phoebe Cates removing her bikini top while walking toward him.[1] It has also been used in TV parodies of that scene. Although the song was in the movie, it was not included on the soundtrack album released by Asylum Records, coincidentally a sister label to Elektra. It has since been used or parodied in several films and television shows.[2]

Sung by the Cars' bass guitarist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, "Moving in Stereo" has a short bass guitar solo by Orr. Throughout the song, Orr's bass is treated with an octave divider effects unit, doubling the bass one octave higher.[3]


In the context of most copies of the original album, "Moving in Stereo" segues somewhat seamlessly and gently into the final track "All Mixed Up", with no dead space between the songs. Released as the B-side of the band's "My Best Friend's Girl" single in 1978, the song has received widespread airplay on American FM rock radio stations. Album-oriented rock and classic rock radio stations often play both songs together as one selection. Like "Moving in Stereo", "All Mixed Up" is sung by Orr.

White label promotional versions of this album have pauses between all of the tracks, and several songs have different mixes. On this promotional version, "Moving in Stereo" runs 5:15, as listed on the label. Stock copies (and most CD versions) also stated the running time as 5:15, but it runs 4:41 because of the segue from the prior track, "Bye Bye Love", and the segue into the following track, "All Mixed Up".

"Moving in Stereo" is noted in the "Classic Rock Tracks" section of Joel Whitburn's book Rock Tracks. This section attempts to document songs regularly played on classic rock radio stations that were released prior to Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, which began in 1981.

Donald A. Guarisco of AllMusic described the song as "one of the Cars' finest experimental tracks", noting that it "sounds like a new wave update of Eno-era Roxy Music".[1]

The song apparently caused some friction in the studio, with Ric Ocasek admiring the work of Orr but at the same time wanting to co-produce his own compositions. Orr eventually won, in the sense that certain overdubs and other studio effects were his idea.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Fu Manchu on their tenth studio album, We Must Obey.
  • The Commons on High School Reunion – A Tribute to Those Great 80's Films!.
  • Signal 12 covered it on their album Aphonia.
  • 3sic7s on their album 3sic7's[5]
  • Yelawolf sampled it on his 2008 mixtape Stereo: A Hip-Hop Tribute to Classic Rock in the track "Stereo"


  1. ^ a b Guarisco, D.A. "Moving in Stereo". Allmusic. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Cars". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Alternate mix without guitars, with prominent bass guitar on YouTube
  4. ^ Behind the music: conflict, performance, longevity, and turnover in punk and new wave rock bands. E Conlon... - Current Topics in Management 2009 -
  5. ^ 3sic7's

External links[edit]