“Drive” by The Cars (1983)

“Drive” is a very un-Cars like song. It’s a dreamy, atmospheric ballad. Benjamin Orr sings lead, not Ric Ocasek. Of course, “Drive” isn’t the only Cars song Ben handles lead vocals on, but he wasn’t the primary lead singer of the band, and when “Drive” was a hit, my Cars vocabulary consisted of three songs-”Shake It Up”, “Magic” and “You Might Think”-all of which were sung by Ocasek. It’s haunting in the way that many of my favorite slow jams from the ‘83-’84 era are (“Human Nature”, “Time After Time”, etc.) It’s also the biggest hit of The Cars’ career (although not their best song IMO, more on that later.)

If you are a music fan of a certain vintage, you will also remember “Drive” from being played during (what seemed like) all of the sponsorship/fundraising breaks during Live Aid in 1985. Which is…odd. I wonder why they picked that particular song. Nothing in the lyrics mentions famine, or Africa. It certainly provided a haunting backdrop for the footage of starving children, but one would think they’d have picked a more theme- appropriate song…or had one written?

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