Retro of the day: the Cars

Just What I Needed” is a song by American rock band The Cars, released as their debut single from their self-titled debut album, released in 1978 on Elektra Records. After achieving exposure as a demo, the song became a successful single for The Cars, hitting the top 30 in America.[1] Appearing on numerous compilation albums, it has become one of the band’s most popular songs.


“Just What I Needed”, like many other tracks on The Cars, originated as a demo tape recorded by the band in 1977.[1] This song first appeared in 1977 on Boston radio stations WCOZ and WBCN from the said demo tape, along with its future follow-up single “My Best Friend’s Girl“.[1] Shortly thereafter, it became one of the stations’ most requested songs.[2]

The opening riff of “Just What I Needed” was borrowed from “Yummy Yummy Yummy“, a song by the Ohio Express.[1] It also features a prominent keyboard riff performed by Greg Hawkes. The song was sung by the Cars’ bassist Benjamin Orr.

Chart (1978) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 96
Canadian Singles Chart 35
French Singles Chart 4
New Zealand Singles Chart 38
UK Singles Chart 17
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 27
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