The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. The band originated from Boston, Massachusetts, and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977.
The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described The Cars' musical style by saying: "they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the '50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend."
Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented on their style saying "the Cars were nevertheless inspired by proto-punk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop."
The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek has always discouraged talk of a reunion since then, telling one interviewer in 1997 "I'm saying never and you can count on that.". In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. On October 21, 2010, the Cars confirmed that they have reunited and are recording their first album in 23 years. Greg Hawkes will fill in on bass for Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.