Cars – Bye Bye Love —Powerpop Friday

One of the many great songs on the Cars debut album. The song to my surprise was not released as a single but it received plenty of airplay through the years.  I was written by Ric Ocasek and sung by bassist Benjamin Orr.

One of my favorite songs by the Cars that is not played as much as some of the others.

The Cars debut album Peaked at #18 on the Billboard 100 in 1979 and stayed on the Charts for 139 weeks. The Cars album was huge despite being released through the height of disco.

From Songfacts

“Bye Bye Love,” written by Rick Ocasek, is the seventh track from their debut album The Cars. Benjamin Orr does the lead vocals here – he and Ocasek shared lead vocal duties in the group.

“Bye Bye Love” is not at all to be confused with the song of the same title by The Everly Brothers (and covered by Ray Charles, Simon & Garfunkel, and others). The Everly Brothers song implies a comma: “Bye Bye, Love” where The Cars is: “Bye, Bye Love.” Of course, the lyrics and arrangement are completely different as well.

This song has been used in the HBO TV series Big Love, where it was chosen for having an ’80s sound. Since the song was written and released in 1978, that tells you how far The Cars were looking ahead.

In Frank Moriarty’s Seventies Rock – The Decade of Creative Chaos, it is noted that “The clever melding of disparate elements that characterized 1978’s The Cars led to an astonishing success for the band, chiefly because the stodgy album-oriented radio stations – which had in large part attempted to ignore punk and New Wave – finally were confronted with new music that they couldn’t help but play.”

Note also that in April of 1978, four of the top five singles currently parked on the charts were by the Bee Gees. America had Saturday Night Fever and there seemed to be no cure, so getting something not-disco on the charts at all was a spectacular achievement.

Bye Bye Love

I can’t feel this way much longer
Expecting to survive
With all these hidden innuendoes
Just waiting to arrive

It’s such a wavy midnight
And you slip into insane
Electric angel rock and roller
I hear what you’re playin’

It’s an orangy sky
Always it’s some other guy
It’s just a broken lullaby
Bye bye love
Bye bye love
Bye bye love
Bye bye love

Substitution mass confusion
Clouds inside your head
Involving all my energies
Until you visited

With your eyes of porcelain and of blue
They shock me into sense
You think you’re so illustrious
You call yourself intense

It’s an orangy sky
Always it’s some other guy
It’s just a broken lullaby
Bye bye love
Bye goo’ bye love
bye bye love
Bye bye love

Substitution mass confusion
Clouds inside your head
Well foggin’ all my energies
Until you visited

With your eyes of porcelain and of blue
They shock me into sense
You think you’re so illustrious
You call yourself intense

It’s an orangy sky
Always it’s some other guy
It’s just a broken lullaby
Bye bye love
Bye bye love
Bye bye love
Bye bye love

Author: badfinger20

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

20 thoughts on “Cars – Bye Bye Love —Powerpop Friday”

  1. Was the first song the band I hung out with and very briefly played keyboards for in high school learned… not quite sure why, but it seems kinda humorous now when I hear that song on radio.

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    1. We could never find a keyboard player…they were hard to find. You would think in the 80s they would be everywhere…not where I lived.
      The first song we learned was Jumpin Jack Flash…and I think of it everytime I hear it.

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  2. My guess is their second album came out almost exactly a year later- the record company had moved on- the reason it wasn’t a single. Also it was yet the era where an album would yield more than 2-3 singles -in general- later on– how many singles were released from Thriller/ Born In The USA? They were releasing singles from Thriller two years after the album came out! Crazy.

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    1. Yes you are right…it wasn’t the era yet. Still…can’t believe a record company of all things had yet to milk something dry.

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      1. You would have thought one of the record exec’s would have thought of it earlier–but those were also the days still of banging out an album every year. Got to keep the product out there. Today no one would think twice about John not having a new album in 5 years- back then he was retired from the industry. I remember being shocked when I heard he had a new album in the works…

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      2. The product being out there…that system probably killed a lot of new bands having to release an album way before they were really ready…
        I remember I was shocked also…after reading Rolling Stone I thought he was basically retired.

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      3. Good point. I don’t know how many artists just in listening to the catalogs – great or pretty good debut- follow up rushed when they didn’t have the material.. the thing that amazes me is when you read especially about The Beatles and Dylan- coming up with material as they were in the studio.. talk about delivering under pressure.. I think it was Blonde On Blonde- they would record a song-Bob would go write another one and the musicians would play cards while waiting for Bob to come back with another tune!

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      4. I think record companies thought everyone should be able to deliever like that…No…there were only a few that could. When you look back at what they did… it boggles the mind. I don’t think Bob ever stopped writing…everytime someone talks about him at that time..he was on a typewriter or writing something. The quality of both…that is the amazing part.

        You said something before about a band having all of their lives to write their first album…that is very true. The Knack comes to mind on this subject just as an example.

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