Ric Ocasek, the singer of rock band The Cars, died Sunday in New York; He was found unconscious Sunday afternoon at his home in Manhattan. A spokesman for the New York Police Department confirmed Ocasek’s death at NPR. There is some confusion about Ocasek’s age: the New York police said he was 75; Public documents indicate their age at 70 years.
The Boston-based group was included in the Hall of Fame Rock & Roll in 2018; The Rock Hall, The Cars “The best New Wave dream machine: a quintet loaded with superimposed hooks, which fused the pop of the 60s, the glamor of the 70s and the pre-rock minimalism in a decade of board nirvana of radio “.
Ocasek, singer, guitarist, and composer of The Cars, was born in Baltimore and grew up in Cleveland. He co-founded the band with Benjamin Orr, bassist, and singer with whom he started playing in Ohio. The two men began traveling in pairs before landing in Boston. The Cars joined in 1976 with three other musicians: guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson.
In one year, the group has signed with Elektra. In the first wave of advertising for his first self-titled album, Jon Pareles, then a Rolling Stone critic, predicted the band’s enduring appeal. He wrote: “Everyone liked: New Wavers recognized Ocasek’s Velvet Underground debts and the ambivalent cunning of his lyrics, while rock fans and radio programmers captured catchy melodies and arrangements thorough. ”
Several of The Cars’ cuts have become instant radio products, including “Just what I needed”, “Good Times Roll”, “My best friend’s daughter” and “You’re all I have tonight “. Each of the band’s next four albums also had great commercial success.
Even in its friendliest version of the Top 40, The Cars has incorporated unconventional elements of New Wave in a sound and appearance that perfectly fit the MTV era, as in “You Might Think,” in 1984, which had won the first prize. video of the year of honor at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Ocasek also worked at A & R and produced peer-to-peer work in the new wave era, such as Suicide and Romeo Void. The Cars split in 1988, but Ocasek’s influence on rock extended well beyond the group’s career peak. In addition to publishing half a dozen solo albums, he has worked as a producer for leading brands of the younger generation, including Weezer, No Doubt, Guided by Voices, and Bad Religion. Orr died of pancreatic cancer in 2000, but in 2011, the surviving members of The Cars met and released a new album, Move Like This.