The Cars

Hello Again

Composed by Ric Ocasek

Song Review by

Some Cars fans were critical of Heartbeat City for its singles-oriented approach, but a close look at its tracks revealed that the band had not forgotten its experimental roots. One of their strongest tracks in the latter vein was "Hello Again," a stylish new wave rocker with plenty of experimental touches. The song's lyrics are full of quirky imagery as they depict the plight of someone with "one hand on the ground/one hand in space" as he or she tries to reconnect with the surrounding world. The music hearkens back to the style of Panorama as it pairs a pop-friendly chorus to jagged verses whose melodies veer to and fro in a style reminiscent of the Talking Heads. The odd lyrics and music make "Hello Again" pretty quirky on paper but the song truly becomes an avant-garde funhouse in the Cars' recording of this song: Greg Hawkes' keyboards take the lead, forming a tapestry of catchy riffs and odd mechanical sound effects that Ric Ocasek weaves his angular vocal through. Other band members add some slickly harmonized vocals that add a pop touch to counterbalance all the odd synthesized noises. The result is a song that represents the Cars striking a unique balance between their gift for pop hooks and their love of experimental sounds. "Hello Again" also became a hit at the end of 1984 when it was released as a single and made it into the Top 20. Cars fans may also want to hunt down the video (available on the Heartbeat City video album) because it is an intriguingly avant-garde affair that was directed by none other than Andy Warhol.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Heartbeat City 1984 Elektra 3:47
Rare Rock Mixes 1994
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 5:54
Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology 1995 Rhino 3:49
80's Love Songs [Coyote/Essex] 1997
Various Artists
Essex
Candy-O/Heartbeat City/The Cars 2001 WEA International 3:46
Complete Greatest Hits 2002 Rhino 3:48
Rhino Classic Albums Collection [f.y.e. Exclusive] 2009 Rhino 3:45
Original Album Series 2009 Elektra / Rhino 3:46
Studio Album Collection, 1978-1987 2014 Elektra / Rhino 3:49
The Elektra Years: 1978-1987 2016 Elektra / Rhino 3:46
12 Inch Dance: 80s Remix
Various Artists
Rhino 5:54