My reaction after learning that Blue Rider Press, a reputable, if somewhat eclectic imprint of Penguin, planned to publish the collected lyrics of Ric Ocasek, the principal singer-songwriter of The Cars, was why. Was someone clamoring to see the words to “Shake It Up” and “Dangerous Type” together in one volume?
Don’t misunderstand. I like the Cars, or at least I used to, before Boston’s most popular purveyor of the genre known as New Wave began making mediocre records, which happened pretty quickly after their terrific 1978 debut album. Still, thanks to programmers at MTV, I continued to pay attention to the Cars and so did many others. Between their first, eponymous LP and the utterly forgettable “Door to Door” in 1987, when the band finally called it quits, the Cars sold several million records. (Minus bassist Ben Orr, who died in 2000, the group released a CD in 2011.)