Cars, The - 1980 Panorama

ARTIST: Cars, The
ALBUM: Panorama
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 5E-514
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List


LINEUP: Rik Ocasek - rhythm guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals * Benjamin Orr - lead vocals, backing vocals, bass * Elliott Easton - guitars, backing vocals * Greg Hawkes - keyboards, backing vocals * David Robinson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Panorama * 02 Touch And Go * 03 Don't Tell Me No * 04 Gimme Some Slack * 05 Getting Through * 06 Misfit Kid * 07 Down Boys * 08 You Wear Those Eyes * 09 Running To You * 10 Up And Down

WEBLINK: Site Link


The third album from Boston based band The Cars proved to be an indifferent affair.

Following on from the bombastic 1978 debut and the mildly successful 'Candy-O', this 1980 set was underwhelming by comparison.

Stylistically, the band changed direction, toward a more new wave sound which was rampant on the airwaves and proving popular in cities like San Francisco, L. A and their hometown Boston.

Roy Thomas Baker who twiddled the dials on their previous records retains the production helm, much to my surprise.

The Songs

You hear this change in direction right from the outset with the title track 'Panorama' bouncing all over the soundscape like a new wave jack rabbit. I think when I first heard this track, I was put off immediately.. Lol!

'Touch And Go' was the biggest hit from the album, reaching #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. This one has a darker tone to it, much like Kim Carnes 'Bette Davis Eyes'.

The same could be said for 'Don't Tell Me No' with its weaving and sinister keyboard lines, while 'Gimme Some Slack' picks up the pace with a shift in tempo and energy.

However, by this stage we're halfway through the album and nothing has grabbed me, and unfortunately for the remainder of the playing time, it continuees to be the same. 'Misfit Kid' goes nowhere, and musically does not represent a vivid image of any misfit or any kid. 'You Wear Those Eyes' was just plain old boring.

If there is one point of interest that would be a cover of the Warrant hit 'Down Boys', some 9 years before the L. A rockers scored with it themselves.

In Summary

'Panorama' the album did very well on the charts all things considered, reaching #5 on the Billboard Album Charts, eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA in the following years.

All of the Elektra releases would be reissued as Expanded editions during 2017 and 2018, 'Panorama' contains four extra bonus tracks.

The Cars would go on to release three more studio albums: 'Shake It Up' (1981), 'Heartbeat City' (1984) and their finale 1987's 'Door To Door'. A great band with a varied discography, but this one was cold to the touch.


The Cars - Touch And Go

The Cars - Panorama

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gdazegod May 17 2019 111 reads 3 comments Print


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  • bpdp3
    I understand the not-so-favorable review, but I always kind of liked this one. It is indeed icy, and I’m a sucker for those cold synth sounds. I always prefer candy-O to the debut, and this album is kind of an extension of that sound.

    I’m thinking you’re joking about ‘down boys’... this one has nothing to do with the warrant song!!?!

    Regardless, thanks for reviewing the album. Cars were a big part of my musical upbringing!
    Reply · · - May 19 2019 00:08:36
  • gdazegod
    I saw the Warrant credits on the YouTube clip for the whole LP. Doesn't mean it's right though.. Lol. But yes, I did scratch my head when I saw it.
    Reply · · - May 19 2019 08:59:19
    • jeffrey343
      There was some controversy regarding a relationship between 'Down Boys' and The Cars - but it was 'Bye Bye Love'. There are some obvious similarities in the Warrant song.
      Reply · · - May 20 2019 00:14:35


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