The Cars – Just What I Needed

Ric Ocasek wrote this in a basement at a commune in Newton, Massachusetts where he lived. Benjamin Orr the bass player sang it. The 2-track demo recorded by the band became the most-requested song by a local band in the history of WBCN, a popular rock station in Boston.

The song peaked at #27 in the Billboard 100, #17 in the UK, and #35 in Canada in 1978. The song was on their self-titled debut album that peaked at #18 in the Billboard Album charts in 1979. The Cars set the bar high with their debut album with two songs (My Best Friends Girl, Just What I Needed) in the top 40 and one song (Let The Good Times Roll) just missing it at #41. At least 6 out of the 9 songs on the album is still being played on classic radio.

From Songfacts

This established The Cars as one of New Wave’s leading hitmakers and helped get them a deal with Elektra Records.

Lead vocals were by bass player Ben Orr, but it was written by lead singer/guitarist Ric Ocasek. Orr died of Pancreatic cancer in 2000.

This was the group’s first single. The Cars evolved from a trio called Milkwood.

The group’s manager took the Cars’ demo tape to two Boston radio stations and got it regular airplay before the group re-recorded it and released this as a single.

Seven years after it was first released, this made its second appearance on a single – this time as the B-side of the Cars’ last Top 10 hit, “Tonight She Comes.” >>

This song was used in the opening credits of the Oscar-winning film Boys Don’t Cry starring Hillary Swank. 

This was used in Circuit City ads when the electronics store used the slogan, “Just What I Needed.”

Just What I Needed

I don’t mind you coming here
And wasting all my time
’cause when you’re standing oh so near
I kinda lose my mind
It’s not the perfume that you wear
It’s not the ribbons in your hair
I don’t mind you coming here
And wasting all my time
I don’t mind you hanging out
And talking in your sleep
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been
As long as it was deep
You always knew to wear it well
You look so fancy I can tell
I don’t mind you hanging out
And talking in your sleep
I guess you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “The Cars – Just What I Needed”

    1. I was going to write that! It was one of the best debut albums of anyone…combining power pop with the new synth sound.

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    1. Now all in all…I hate the 80’s sound with the fake drums and all…the Cars mixed it up with some. I’m no big fan of the 80s though. 60s and 70s were the real deal to me.

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