Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ric Ocasek's Finest Solo Song

One of my regular reads is Uncle E's Musical Nightmares (and it should be yours too!). One thought provoking post earlier this week on the deep cuts of the Cars (yes, I'm an intellectual) got me thinking about Ric Ocasek's first solo album, 'Beatitude.' It came out at the very tail end of 1982, and I was nearing my peak of fandom. I bought the album on the strength of the first single, "Something to Grab For." For better or worse, it sounded exactly like the Cars. I wasn't looking for my hero to experiment. Just keep playing the hits. Well, surprisingly, the single didn't crack the Top 40. Perhaps the fans did want the gangly frontman to break out a bit. If that's the case, the second single, and the song I'm featuring today, should have been a smash.

"Jimmy Jimmy" was long, dark and, dare I state it, kind of danceable. This is really the only moment of Ocasek's solo career I have returned to through the years, but I must admit before Uncle E's post it had been way too long since I had given it a spin. Tip of the hat, sir. So, was it a smash? Hardly. It didn't even make an appearance on the singles chart. Greg Hawkes of the Cars showed up on 'Beatitude,' but it is worth noting Stephen Hague played keyboards on "Jimmy Jimmy." If the name rings a bell, it's because he went on to produce some of your favorites, including OMD and New Order.

I think Ocasek and the other members of the Cars kind of liked this one. "Jimmy Jimmy" made the set list while touring to support 'Heartbeat City.' I'm including a live version recorded in Houston on Sept. 11, 1984. Enjoy.

Ric Ocasek - Jimmy Jimmy (mp3)
The Cars - Jimmy Jimmy (Live) (mp3)

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