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Ric Ocasek

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Ric Ocasek - This Side Of Paradise [Geffen GHS 24098] (15 September 1986)

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Ric Ocasek


This Side Of Paradise

Released: 15 September 1986
Label: Geffen
Catalog: GHS 24098
Genre: Rock, Pop

Matrix / Runout (Side A):
GHS-2- 24098-A-SH1 MASTERDISK RL [alpha] B-24916 SH1 [triangle] 13846 1-1

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
GHS-2- 24098-B-SH1 [alpha] B-24917 SH1 [triangle] 13846-X 1-1
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Keep On Laughin'
02 True To You
03 Emotion In Motion
04 Look In Your Eyes
05 Coming For You
06 Mystery
07 True Love
08 P.F.J.
09 Hello Darkness
10 This Side Of Paradise
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Album Review

This Side of Paradise is the second solo studio album released by Ric Ocasek, lead singer and songwriter of The Cars. It was released in 1986 by Geffen Records. Though it was a solo album, other members of The Cars played significant roles. Greg Hawkes plays keyboards and bass throughout the album (he appears on most of Ocasek's solo albums), and also co-wrote ''Hello Darkness'' (most Cars albums feature one Ocasek/Hawkes tune). Benjamin Orr is on backing vocals for three songs. Along with Hawkes and Orr, the track ''True To You'' also features Elliot Easton on guitar. Had drummer David Robinson been present, the song would have been an unofficial Cars reunion. Both production and drumming were by Chris Hughes (formerly known as ''Merrick'', drummer for Adam and the Ants). Hughes was the recent producer of Tears for Fears most popular two albums. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol's band plays guitar on over half of the album.

In addition, Roland Orzabal from Tears for Fears (guitar on ''Emotion in Motion''), Tony Levin from King Crimson/Peter Gabriel, Tom Verlaine of Television and G. E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band guest on various tracks.

The first single from the album, ''Emotion in Motion'', which was aided in its promotion by a video that received heavy airplay on MTV, reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks for one week, becoming Ocasek's only solo chart-topper (as a member of The Cars, he topped the chart with the singles ''You Might Think'' and ''Magic'' in 1984, and ''Tonight She Comes'' in 1985). Ocasek remains the only member of The Cars to have a #1 hit single. []

Ric Ocasek's Biography

Greg Prato []

Although he's best known as the leader, singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter for the Cars, Ric Ocasek has also produced for a wide variety of other artists over the years. Born Richard Otcasek in Baltimore, MD, on March 23, 1949, Otcasek was 16 when he became interested in music via such early rockers as Buddy Holly & the Crickets. In the early '70s, Otcasek moved from Cleveland to Boston and began playing in a folk band called Milkwood with friend Ben Orzechowski. They released a lone, forgotten album in 1973 called How's the Weather. When the record failed to chart, the group promptly split up, but Otcasek and Orzechowski would remain together. Inspired by proto-punk outfits the Modern Lovers, the Velvet Underground, and Roxy Music, they formed Rick & the Rabbits and changed their last names from Orzechowski to Orr, and Otcasek to Ocasek.

By the mid-'70s, the new band included additional members Greg Hawkes (keyboards/synths), Elliot Easton (guitar), and former Modern Lovers member Dave Robinson (drums). Shortly after, the quintet changed its name to the Cars (with Ocasek becoming the undisputed leader -- penning all of their tunes), resulting in a more streamlined sound and look, which fit in perfectly with the burgeoning new wave movement. Signed to Elektra, the group rocketed to stardom on the strength of their classic, mega-selling self-titled debut in 1978, and with further releases such as 1979's Candy-O, 1980's Panorama, and 1981's Shake It Up, the band became one of the top rock bands in the U.S. It was also during this time that Ocasek began to branch out artistically by producing for Suicide, Bad Brains, Romeo Void, and Iggy Pop, and issuing his 1982 solo debut Beatitude.

With the advent of MTV, the way a band looked proved almost just as important as the music, and the Cars seemed to be custom-made for the new channel as their 1984 release Heartbeat City became one of the year's biggest rock records, spawning several Top Ten singles and heavily rotated and stylish videos. Ocasek found himself in the tabloids around this time when he began dating, and eventually marrying, fashion model Paulina Porizkova (who had appeared in the video for the Cars' hit ballad "Drive"). 1986 saw Ocasek release his second solo effort, This Side of Paradise, before returning to the Cars for what would be their final album, 1987's mildly received Door to Door, before splitting up a year later.

Not much was heard from Ocasek immediately after the Cars' split, but he eventually resurfaced in 1990 with Fireball Zone. He subsequently released other solo works throughout the decade, including 1993's Quick Change World and Negative Theater, 1996's Getchertikitz (a collaboration with Suicide's Alan Vega), and 1997's Billy Corgan-produced Troublizing (for which he supported with a very brief tour, his first since leaving the Cars). Beginning in the mid-'90s, Ocasek began producing again for acts such as Bad Religion, Black 47, Johnny Bravo, D Generation, Guided By Voices, Hole, Possum Dixon, Martin Rev, Jonathan Richman, and both of Weezer's hit self-titled releases in 1994 and 2001. In 2005 the Sanctuary distribution family gave him his own label, Inverse, to develop new acts and released the first new Ocasek album in eight years, Nexterday.
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