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This is what it’s all about:

The mission of this blog is to honor, non-commercially promote, and educate the world about Benjamin Orr, former bass player and one of the lead vocalists for the new wave rock band, The Cars. Articles here cover a whole range of topics surrounding his life, his career, and his continuing legacy. Enjoy!

Please feel free to also check out my “All Things Elliot Easton” blog!

Lyrics: Even Angels Fall

Even Angels Fall by Benjamin Orr (written by Benjamin Orr and John Kalishes ©1994)

 

I have felt your fires flow and I now feel your winter’s cold

So now I know the meaning of ‘alone’ and I know how angels fall

Even angels fall

 

I see writings on the wall and I hear the wilderness, it calls

And I have found a place among these things and I know how angels fall

Even angels fall, like diamonds from your eyes

Even angels fall

 

And you know when you go you have my attention

So you see what you’ve sown, sure goes a long long way

Are you sure you’re right? Are you sure you don’t feel guilty?

 

I have felt your fires flow and I still feel your winter’s cold

And now I know the meaning of ‘alone’

Even angels fall, like diamonds from your eyes

Even angels fall

Even angels fall, like diamonds from your eyes

Even angels fall

Oh HBC, here we come!

In Episode 4 of the NiGHT THOUGHTS podcast Dave and I tackle the slew of Cars videos linked to the Heartbeat City album. Not enough time to adequately cover everything… and a few more growing pains in the technology department… but overall, a fun discussion. Come join us!

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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nightthoughtsthecarspodcast/2017/07/19/night-thoughts-the-cars-podcast-ep-4mtv-beyond-the-cars-videos-part-2

 

She’s A Lot Like You…

My husband’s brother, D, has always been my rock-and-roll buddy. We’ve talked music from as far back as I can remember, and he is one of only two members of my large extended family that will talk seriously with me about The Cars without looking at his watch. His all-time favorite song of theirs is “Dangerous Type,” the last track on the 1979 Candy-O album.

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Photo by Ebet Roberts

One might not consider the lyrics of The Cars to be ‘seductive’ in the traditional sense, but when my brother-in-law sings, “Inside angel, always upset. Keeps on forgetting that we ever met. Can I bring you out in the light? My curiosity’s got me tonight,” my sister-in-law blushes and giggles like a schoolgirl.

Such is the provocative power of The Cars!

(Of course, her response may have more to do with the fact that after all these years they are still madly in love, and just about anything he does makes her blush and giggle! haha)

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From Ric Ocasek’s book, Lyrics and Prose

Rock critics agree that “Dangerous Type” is one of the true highlights from Candy-O. Written by Ric Ocasek and produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it was never released as a single but it received a lot of radio play and easily became a fan favorite. This is also one of those songs where, if you really tried to pull a specific message out of Ric’s lyrics, you would likely be left scratching your head. That doesn’t stop any of us from singing along, though, does it? I’m sure each of us has some sort of connection we make with it, which is exactly what Ric wants.

There’s no denying that this song has panache. With every individual element, the guys get in there, throw their punches and then get out. You feel it from the first beats of David’s kick drum, and all through those excellent fills. Greg’s skillfully crafted synth sounds couldn’t be more perfect; I would love to lie across his keyboards and have him play those notes along my spine.  Ric’s vocal treatment is flawless, and adds just the right attitude to his cryptic lyrics. Benjamin’s got that pulsing bass line moving things along, and Elliot’s guitar work is no-nonsense and effective…. on out the door, the band entirely locked into that addictive outro.

Take a minute — well, 17 seconds, actually — to appreciate that guitar solo. It emerges from the chorus so subtly: edgy, powerful, and perfectly symbiotic with the keyboards in the background. When he’s made his voice heard Elliot drops us into to the next verse with little fanfare. That transition — from the end of the guitar solo to Greg’s kick-ass synth while Ric sings, “Museum directors with high shaking heads, they kick white shadows until they play dead…” — that is my absolute favorite part. I eagerly anticipate it every time I crank this song.

For our listening pleasure, there is an alternate studio version out there. It surfaced when the Candy-O monitor mix tapes were recovered. It’s pretty similar to the final track, with the most obvious exceptions being the missing guitar solo and a few minor lyric changes. I’m really looking forward to the Northern Studios recording that is slated to come out as a bonus track on the newly expanded Candy-O release, dropping on July 28, 2017 (just around the corner — yippee!). I’m always thrilled to hear something new.

This song has been covered numerous times. The most notable is this terrific version by Letters to Cleo, which was featured in the 1996 movie, The Craft, and included Greg Hawkes sitting in on the synthesizer. Greg also joins the band in their music video! I love love love this rendition! Take a peek here:

It was also covered by Johnny Monaco on the 2005 Substitution Mass Confusion tribute compilation. I haven’t heard that version yet; still trying to pick up that CD on the cheap. I’ve read that it’s well done. Another tribute album, Just What We Needed, came out in 2010 and includes a version by Graveyard School, but I can’t find that CD — cheap or otherwise — anywhere.

And now are you ready for a totally different take on this song? Check out this lush cover by Susan Hyatt, including some gorgeous trumpet playing by Zack Leffew… it’s a little startling, but I like it. From her 2016 album, Pin-ups and Trumpets.

A youtube friend let me know that “Dangerous Type” was also part of a movie soundtrack (though it does not show up on the official soundtrack album). The song plays for over 3 minutes during this transitional scene in the 1980 film, Times Square. Now I confess, I didn’t watch this movie; I generally like films about teenage angst but this one just didn’t appeal to me at all, though I understand that it is somewhat of a cult classic.

A bonus tidbit: on MTV’s first day of broadcasting (August 1, 1981), the 124th video they aired was “Dangerous Type.” I’m pretty sure it was this performance from The Midnight Special (I chose a higher quality of the footage rather than the one with the VH1 logo):

There are several live performances out there to listen to, but we’ll play out the article with this gem: the audio from The Cars’ set at the 1982 US Festival. Their energy is off the charts, Ric adds great flourishes to the lyrics, and Elliot shakes things up with his gritty guitar playing. Enjoy!

 

Lyrics: Dangerous Type

Dangerous Type by The Cars (written by Ric Ocasek, ©1979)

Can I touch you, are you out of touch

I guess I never noticed that much

Geranium lover, I’m live on your wire

Oo come and take me whoever you are

 

She’s a lot like you, the dangerous type

She’s a lot like you, come on and hold me tight

 

Oh inside angel, always upset

Keeps on forgetting that we ever met

Can I bring you out in the light

My curiosity’s got me tonight

 

She’s a lot like you, the dangerous type

She’s a lot like you, come on and hold me tight

 

Museum directors with high shaking heads

They kick white shadows until they play dead

They want to crack your crossword smile

Oo can I take you out for a while, yeah

 

She’s a lot like you, the dangerous type

She’s a lot like you, come on and hold me tight

 

She’s a lot like you, the dangerous type

She’s a lot like you, come on and hold me tight

 

Tonight

She’s a lot like you, the dangerous type

She’s a lot like you, come on hold me tight