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Friday, September 20, 2019

Remembering Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek

Written by Jon Williams

The music world is in mourning this week after the recent passing of two popular figures: singer-songwriter Eddie Money and multitalented musician Ric Ocasek, best known as a member of the band the Cars.

Edward Mahoney took the stage name Eddie Money in 1968 when he moved from New York to California to pursue a career in music following a short stint as a trainee with the NYPD. Performing in clubs around San Francisco allowed him to steadily grow a fanbase and eventually secure a recording contract. He started with a bang; his self-titled debut album, released in 1977, contained “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” two big hits that are still in frequent rotation on classic rock stations. After a second album, Life for the Taking, in 1979, he hit his stride in the 1980s, releasing five albums that spawned hits like “Think I’m in Love,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “I Wanna Go Back,” and “Walk on Water.” His album production dipped after that, with just three released in the 1990s, followed by Wanna Go Back, an album covering hits from the 1960s, in 2007. A new album release was planned for July of this year, but was put on hold due to Money’s health issues.

Unfortunately, most of Money’s individual albums are currently out of print on CD, with the exceptions of Playing for Keeps (1980) and Where’s the Party? (1983). However, SmartBrowsing his name on our website will give you a choice of two greatest hits compilations and a live album. In addition, his 2007 covers album, Wanna Go Back, is available for patrons to borrow from hoopla digital.

Like Money, Ric Ocasek began his musical journey in the 1960s but saw his greatest success in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was one of the founding members of the Cars, who released their debut album in 1978. In their ten initial years together, they would release six albums and such timeless hits as “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Shake It Up,” and “Drive.” After a 23-year breakup, the band reunited for a final album, Move Like This, in 2011, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Ocasek also released seven albums as a solo artist. He was also a noted musical producer, both for the Cars and his own solo work in addition to bands like Weezer, No Doubt, and Bad Religion, among others.

Of the Cars’ albums, only Panorama (1980) and Heartbeat City (1984) are currently available on CD, but a SmartBrowse will show a number of compilations and soundtracks their music appears on. Luckily, all of their albums (and more) are available on hoopla digital for patrons to explore and enjoy, as are four of Ocasek’s solo albums.

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