Ric Ocasek

Negative Theater

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Negative Theater is essentially a European-only import version of the entire "Left Side" from Quick Change World before that album was trimmed from a double-disc to a single. The most surprising thing about the album, however, is how much it really sounds like the "Right Side" of Quick Change World. Given the record company's unwillingness to release this material, one might expect it to be wholly uncommercial, but in fact on Negative Theater Ocasek has hid some of his best and most accessible pop gems ever. Included in this is the uptempo anthem "Ride With Duce," the pure pop of "Shake a Little Nervous," and the galloping "Take Me Silver." Granted, Negative Theater could most easily be compared to 1983's politically-charged, and somewhat experimental, Beatitude, and it does include some decidedly experimental material (especially the nine-minute "Race To Nowhere," and "Wait For Fate"). While there is a seven track overlap with Quick Change World, the other eight tracks are exclusive to this rare album and are certainly worth seeking out for any Ocasek or Cars fan.