The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts, with lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. They were signed to Elektra Records by George Daly, then A&R head, in 1977.
The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flourish in the early 1980s. The Cars started fresh with their debut album The Cars which went on to go platinum in late 1978. The Cars' debut album was called a "genuine rock masterpiece" by Allmusic. The most successful and well known song from the album, "Just What I Needed", started as a demo in 1977. The song was sent as a mix tape to a local DJ in the Boston area, who played the song in heavy rotation. This soon caught the attention of other DJs, which led to the signing of the band by Elektra Records in 1977.