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Ric Ocasek

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. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Oh, & Pandora, you guys desperately NEED to get the rest of his albums displayed on his discography and available to listen to, like yesterday! So get on it already!
Report as inappropriate
Well put Anna, & bob, you got old really fast, like the first time u ever posted a comment anywhere on Pandora,& you've been been displaying your idiocracy ever since! Every single one of Rics solo albums (not to mention every Cars album)are absolutely great as one would expect from a top notch producer, but of course he's so much more then that, with an incomparable voice & simply perfect writing style, he's underrated for sure.
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seriously, some people and their kids,
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did you forget your diapers again?
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judee whats your problem b**ch
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I just think Ric has that incredible ability to blend his lyrics with acoustically cool beats
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,f**k everybody
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well, I mean, nobody ever gives Ric any credit I love his voice, I love the way he sings
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Never understood why this didn't make the charts
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ITS STILL CLASSIC
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I had Beatitude on vinyl - what a great album
Report as inappropriate
The Cars with Ocasek have been my all time favorite.. I became the Cars- Ocasek # 1fan in1978 and I still am today.. it would be a wish come true if I ever got the chance to meet him RIP BEN
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Stil rocks ..
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Nexterday Rules!
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Ocasek's sound got old really fast. Like by the end of the 1st Cars album.
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Looks like (other than Bromide) we have a serious case of assholism here on Ric's page.
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bromide01
Dude, if that's your biggest dilemma in life, then you should be happy.
Report as inappropriate
Toss up between Fireball Zone and this side of paradise as my favorite Ric Ocasek album from the mid 80's to early 90's
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oh-kay-sak, i suv der shrilly sonds
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Oh-ka-sak
Aw-caw-sok
Oh-kay-sek
Take-home-a- s a c k
Oka-seck
Ocasek
Report as inappropriate
Too many sonds. Cannot listen to them all.
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
Huh? Am I supposed to listen to the album with the sond THIS SIDE OF PARADISE? What? Huh? How did you know I wasn't listening to that album? Are you watching me? Now I'm paranoid...
Report as inappropriate
why are you not listing the album by ric ocasek with the sond THIS SIDE OF PARADISE ,,PLEAS LET ME KNOW E-MAIL laraffle@sbc g l o b a l . n e t

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