Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Roy Thomas Baker Speaks About The Cars Debut

"I remember when the first Cars record hit Number One on the charts, I was driving on Sunset Boulevard with Ric Ocasek. We drove past a billboard for the Cars' record, and he said, "If someone had told me a year ago that I would be driving along Sunset Boulevard with Roy Thomas Baker looking up at a billboard of my record that is Number One, I wouldn't have believed him." Roy Thomas Baker also went on to describe why most tracks he did with the cars have a seemless stream to them.

"I love segues, because I like records to be continuous and it gives me a good excuse not to turn off the music and put on something else. They played the first three or four songs off of The Cars first album' in the beginning because the DJ's at the time kept missing the end of the songs. It worked out well."

"With The Cars, you had this band with a sparse rhythm section and a unique singer in Ric Ocasek, but when the harmonies kicked in, it was a wall of sound. They came at a time when rock radio really needed some freshening up."

I would run into the Sex Pistols, because they were working over at Wessex. They were saying the usual, "All you bands are going to be gone because you're over-produced and you're all fags," and all that. [Laughs] It was really funny. I thought, "Maybe there is a point where I should be a bit more sparse." So when I did the first Cars record, we purposely did it very sparse, but when the harmony vocals come in, there are as many vocals there as there were in a Queen record. The only difference is it was in and then it was gone.

"Good Times Roll" is a classic one for that. When they sing those words, it's huge and then it's gone, and everything is back to sparse again. I was able to put big vocals on a sparse, punkish background, sort of inventing post-punk pop.

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