This thread could go on a long time because I have a lot of CDs, and have started to accumulate some iTunes downloads. It seems that my musical tastes differ a bit from much of what is discussed in this section, though there are some overlaps. So, I thought I would start a thread about the music that is the soundtrack to my life.

Here is how it will work. I'll bring up an artist to discuss and then you can do one of the following:

1) Heap praise upon the artist and tell me how cool I am.

2) Mock me for liking something so lame.

3) Choose your own path somewhere in between.

4) Ignore the thread.

There will be some structure. I'll probably go mostly in alphabetical order, but I think I will begin with the band that was probably my first "favorite" band. The Cars.

I recall hearing "My Best Friend's Girl" on the radio when it was popular. I also recall riding in my brother-in-law's Trans-Am one day while visiting my sister in Seattle, and The Cars was the only tape he had in the car, so I heard it a couple times that day. Then one day in 1978 or 1979, my mom and brother come home from town. My brother had got his first two vinyl LP's. One was Blondie's Parallel Lines, the other was The Cars. We listened to that album a lot. Until 1986, they were far and away my favorite group.

As far as I'm concerned, their first two albums (self-titled and Candy-O are a couple of the best albums of all time. Panorama had a different feel to it and wasn't as successful, but I still enjoy it a lot. At this point, those three and Complete Greatest Hits are the only ones I have on CD, though I have the others on vinyl or taped from my brother's LPs. Shake It Up and Heartbeat City don't seem quite as awesome to me as they did back then, but they are still good albums with some songs that I really like. Their last album doesn't quite hold up as well, and was kind of an anti-climactic finale for them. Unfortunately, Ben Orr died of pancreatic cancer on October 3, 2000. The New Cars thing hasn't really got me excited. It has guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboard player Greg Hawkes with Todd Rundgren on vocals.

One other note. As popular as The Cars became, I sort of considered them alternative, though I didn't have that term in my mind back then. I recall when I was still in grade school, I would ask others in my class what their favorite band was. When I would say that my favorite was The Cars, they'd usually think of the song by Gary Numan. With Heartbeat City though, the Cars became more popular than they had ever been, while most people will know Gary Numan by that one song.