Song of the Day: The Cars – “Bye Bye Love”

With The Cars about to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this weekend, I took some time lately to rediscover their catalog a bit and took a listen to this song for the first time in quite a while. Sung by late bassist Benjamin Orr and written by Ric Ocasek, this track is one of multiple classics off their self-titled debut — one that wasn’t released as a single but went on to get plenty of airplay over the years. This coming weekend’s induction ceremony, which takes place in Cleveland, will have special significance for Ocasek, considering that’s where the band first began, more or less. The Cars would form in Boston years later, but it was when Ocasek, who lived in the Cleveland area as a teen and young adult, saw the local native Orr performing on a local variety show that the spark for the band was lit. The two eventually struck up a friendship and played in multiple bands before The Cars eventually formed in 1976. So when The Cars get inducted at this weekend’s ceremony, it’ll be a case of Ocasek coming full circle, at least somewhat. “It’s kind of a whole beginning and end,” Ocasek told Rolling Stone in 2017, “although I don’t think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the end, but it’s a long journey that vaguely started in Cleveland and vaguely comes to some resolve in Cleveland again.” Orr was lost too young (age 53) to cancer in 2000, but he’ll certainly be there in spirit.

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