The Cars / Elektra Studio Albums box set and Best Of coming soon


Gear up for two new collections from The Cars via Rhino Records this spring-summer: The Elektra Years 1978-1987 (6CD or limited edition coloured vinyl box set) and Moving In Stereo: The Best Of The Cars (CD or 2LP set)…

The Elektra Years features all six of studio albums the band’s original five members – Ric Ocasek, the late Benjamin Orr, Greg Hawkes, Elliot Easton and David Robinson – released on the Elektra Records label. From their eponymous debut long-player of 1978, through Candy-O (1979), Panorama (1980), Shake It Up (1981) and Heartbeat City (1984) to Door To Door (1987), this set brings together records that have accumulated sales of more than 23 million copies in the United States alone.

Each album is peppered with hits, including The Cars’ debut single Just What I Need which made the US top 40, Let’s Go, Shake It Up, Magic, Drive and You Might Think (which, incidentally, won MTV’s first-ever Video Of The Year award in 1984)

Ric Ocasek personally oversaw digital remastering for this set. Meanwhile, drummer David Robinson – who helped create The Cars’ album covers over the years – took on art director duties and each of the six album is presented in a replica sleeve with faithfully reproduced original artwork. For patient, vinyl-loving Cars fans, three months after the March release of the six-CD set, there will be a limited edition vinyl version with each heavyweight 180-gram LP pressed on different colour vinyl.



Moving In Stereo: The Best Of The Cars is a collection curated by the band, with all surviving members contributing song sections. Ocasek also supervised digital remastering of all the audio on this one with Ted Jensen at the Sterling Sound studio in New York.

Available as a single-CD or 2LP set, in addition to the classics such as Drive, it includes a rare, single mix for I’m Not The One, plus two previously unreleased tracks – a live version of Everything You Say and a new mix by producer Philippe Zdar of Sad Song from the band’s last album, Move Like This (2011).

The six-CD box set of The Elektra Years 1978-1987 is released on 11 March, with the limited edition vinyl version to follow on 7 June. Both the CD and 2LP editions of Moving In Stereo: The Best Of The Cars are released on 6 May. Pre-order links below will be updated as and when.


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Best of The Cars: Moving in Stereo vinyl 2LP


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The Elektra Years 1978-1987 6CD box set



THE CARS (1978)

  1. “Good Times Roll”
  2. “My Best Friend’s Girl”
  3. “Just What I Needed”
  4. “I’m In Touch With Your World”
  5. “Don’t Cha Stop”
  6. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”
  7. “Bye Bye Love”
  8. “Moving In Stereo”
  9. “All Mixed Up”

CANDY-O (1979)

  1. “Let’s Go”
  2. “Since I Held You”
  3. “It’s All I Can Do”
  4. “Double Life”
  5. “Shoo Be Doo”
  6. “Candy-O”
  7. “Night Spots”
  8. “You Can’t Hold On Too Long”
  9. “Lust For Kicks”
  10. “Got A Lot On My Head”
  11. “Dangerous Type”


  1. “Panorama”
  2. “Touch And Go”
  3. “Gimme Some Slack”
  4. “Don’t Tell Me No”
  5. “Getting Through”
  6. “Misfit Kid”
  7. “Down Boys”
  8. “You Wear Those Eyes”
  9. “Running To You”
  10. “Up And Down”

SHAKE IT UP (1981)

  1. “Since You’re Gone”
  2. “Shake It Up”
  3. “I’m Not The One”
  4. “Victim Of Love”
  5. “Cruiser”
  6. “A Dream Away”
  7. “This Could Be Love”
  8. “Think It Over”
  9. “Maybe Baby”


  1. “Hello Again”
  2. “Looking For Love”
  3. “Magic”
  4. “Drive”
  5. “Stranger Eyes”
  6. “You Might Think”
  7.  “It’s Not The Night”
  8. “Why Can’t I Have You”
  9. “I Refuse”
  10. “Heartbeat City”


1. “Leave or Stay”
2. “You Are The Girl”
3. “Double Trouble”
4. “Fine Line”
5. “Everything You Say”
6. “Ta Ta Wayo Wayo”
7. “Strap Me In”
8. “Coming Up You”
9. “Wound Up On You”
10. “Go Away”
11. “Door To Door”


  • 1.    “Just What I Needed”
  • 2.    “Since You’re Gone”
  • 3.    “Let’s Go”
  • 4.    “You Might Think”
  • 5.    “Shake It Up”
  • 6.    “Drive”
  • 7.    “Tonight She Comes”
  • 8.    “My Best Friend’s Girl”
  • 9.    “Don’t Tell Me No”
  • 10.  “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”
  • 11.  “I’m Not The One” – Single Mix
  • 12.  “Candy-O”
  • 13.  “Heartbeat City”
  • 14.  “Touch And Go”
  • 15.  “Moving In Stereo”
  • 16.  “Dangerous Type”
  • 17.  “Sad Song” – Zdar Mix*
  • 18.  “Everything You Say” – Live*

*Previously Unreleased



The Elektra Years 1978-1987 6LP coloured vinyl box

The Elektra Years 1978-1987 6CD box set


Moving in Stereo: Best of The Cars (2LP)

Moving in Stereo: Best of The Cars 2CD edition

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Any word yet on the Moving In Stereo: Best Of?


The remastering is fantastic on this set, listening with headphones, hearing lots of “new” things nice and clear with great seperation. Re one of the comments above, Panorama is one of my favs and the remaster is great, get your order back in !


a reviewer on amazon US just posted a thorough review with lots of pics of the CD box set.

Mark J

I haven’t heard this, but DR database says I won’t be happy. I was hoping for a better Panorama cd that was not too compressed, but it doesn’t look like this box will provide that. I canceled my order. I guess I can buy it from HDTracks and burn my own cd, though I hate that. It’s a shame they couldn’t give this box a decent audiophile mastering job.

Thomas Braun

I have Listen to all 6 CDs and the remaster is awsome
What a Great sound


how’s the packaging?
are the cds gatefolds?
or do they include inner sleeves? it was hard to tell from the pic.


the overall box is very sold.
ther are innersleeves to all six cd (one papersheet), very little but original.
and heartbeat city is a gatefold cover


Strangest thing is the omission of Good Times Roll from the Best Of. A great song, a modest world-wide hit and an absolute joy to hear on a good set of headphones. The stereo separation of the music is just awesome. Really can’t believe it’s been left off. Who IS responsible for his stuff?

Thomas Braun

at Amazon Germany the 6 CD Box 21,99 € best at the Moment!

[…] The Elektra Years vinyl box is released on 10 June 2016. You can read more about the other Cars releases (CD box, new hits collection) here. […]

[…] recently announced Cars Elektra Years 6CD box is now available for pre-order across Europe. The set, which features […]

david harris

just pre ordered cars elektra years cd on amazon uk for £18.02 seems like a good price.

[…] Elektra Years coloured vinyl box (& CD set) is on the way, but for some reason The Cars‘ 1978 debut is getting a standalone translucent blue vinyl […]


Very curious to know if the 1st album in the coloured vinyl LP set will be the same translucent blue vinyl as the reissue of this LP Rhino released last week (which I bought, BTW).

Wayne Klein

I suspect that Rhino sees the chance to profit off of all their albums being reissued on CD and LP and then will release deluxes later.


Like for Moving In stereo says 2CDs. Track listing here and Amazon says a single CD. Lame box set.






Beep Beep

Mathias – I was about to mention that Beatitude has been out on CD forever (though not with any bonus tracks) – and then I happened to look on Amazon and see the cheapeast one out there at the moment is $100!!! What a strange world we live in sometimes. At one point, this was even available as one of those “in house” label semi-remainders, with a US $6.98 list price.

alan hansen

@Mathias sums it up for me quite nicely. thank you.


I absolutely love this band – especially the first 3 albums because they were part of the soundtrack of my youth. I even remember the first time I ever listened to a song of The Cars. It was in the winter of 1978/1979 and I was aged 13 when I was babysitting in the neighbourhood. As it was very quiet this evening so I got bored and started listening to the tapes of the child’s parents laying around. And then I heard for the very first time a song called “Just what I needed” and it blew my mind. (As I’m living in Germany, you couldn’t hear songs of The Cars not that often in the radio at that time). As the tape wasn’t labelled, I had to find out which band this was which wasn’t that easy in times before the internet ; ) But I was successful and some days later their first album was mine … and a few months later also their second album Candy-O: WHAT a great cover – even or especially for a boy aged fourteen. I followed them through the 80s: the more cold electronic sounding Panorama album, the more pop-oriented album Shake it up (where David Robinson looked very New Romantic-like on the back-cover), the even more pop-oriented best-selling Heartbeat City (which still is no favourite of mine – maybe because now I had to share them with too many others and also the songs got a little bit overplayed) and their fall with the not-too-bad Door to Door album.

So now 37 years later whenever there is a new CD reissue of one of their albums or even just another compilation, I look for reasons why I should buy it – and most of the time I find them very soon.

In the first place I look for bonus tracks – this could be special 7″-/12″-Mixes (not too much of that in case of The Cars) or unreleased songs/ demos/alternate mixes. Speaking of bonus tracks the 1995 2 CD compilation Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology (8 previously unissued songs) and the 1999 Deluxe Edition of their first album (14 demo versions) were heaven. And this Deluxe Edition could and should have been the blueprint for all the other albums – but unfortunately wasn’t. I’d absolutely love to hear demos of the sessions for my favorite album Candy-O. The only thing I have is a boot called “monitor mixes” but this nothing groundshaking.

Another good reason as a second is an improvement soundwise. That’s why I own all the MFSL / Audio Fidelity / DCC versions of their albums (incl. their 80’s “Greatest Hits” album). Unfortunately their is still no audiophile cd version of “Panorama” available.

Third reason is a nice packaging / cover-art / new pic. That’s why I have all the SHM-CDs. I can confirm that they are beautifully packaged – especially the japanese Candy-O box looks very, very nice. And yes, they sound great too.

And it looks like this release qualifies for the third reason – and maybe/hopefully for the second. But the bonus unreleased rare tracks is what I’m really after. PLEASE!!!!!

By the way, cd releases of Greg Hawkes – Niagara Falls and Ric Ocasek – Beatitude (including the three (?) 12″ versions of the time) would be very nice too : )

don cooper

Complete agreement,Mathias. I just bought Beatitude on vinyl to burn cd-crazy that it is still unreleased.Maybe an Ocasek anthology is a-coming? Greg Hawkes synth work is understated, but perfect for Cars tunes-much like Duran’s Rhodes.
btw I mentioned elsewhere about the Penguin America hardcover copy of Ocasek’s lyrics that I purchased from Amazon US.You should seek out if you haven’t already.Excellent work.

[…] Cars (yes, we’re choosing to ignore the mediocre 2011 comeback album) are being gathered for the remastered box set The Elektra Years 1978-1987, out on CD on March 11th, and vinyl on June 7th. More casual fans may be interested in Moving In […]


Digital mastering for vinyl? Do people even think about what they are doing anymore?!?! What a wasted opportunity. The MoFi of their first LP is stunning and this was a chance to do the same with the entire catalog


I’m also very disappointed that they didn’t add any bonus material to the box set.

I know there probably isn’t that much additional material out there, but they could have at least included the handful of non-album b-sides / extra tracks that exist.

Also, I’d absolutely love to hear demos of the Candy-O material. That album is, IMHO, only slightly behind their stunning debut, in terms of quality.

So, I’m on the fence with this one. A real missed opportunity. As someone said above, just adding a disc or two to this set would make it a definitive collection and a worthy celebration of a great band.

peter chrisp

Just what i needed hmm not sure, Paul your thoughts, as suggested there are so many classic rock bands that are re-releasing their entire back catalogue i am losing count! Whether it’s vinyl or cd and at times on shm-cd and sacd. Can you believe it this will be best of number 5, is that all she cried! The Cars Greatest Hits, The Cars Definitive, The very best Of The Cars, Just What I Needed Anthology and i guess if you don’t want a best of, their newly remastered entire collection is the go.

SDE Hall of Fame

I don’t own any Cars apart from the Audio Fidelity Heartbeat City, so I’m in the camp that welcomes this set, but can totally understand why it’s a bit of a shoulder shrug for others.


I saw the Cars live in 1980 on the Panorama tour and they just blew my mind ;o)

Ray judson

Surprised they left off “You Are the Girl” which is the only real “hit” off of the Door to Door Lp.

Carlos Pinto

Totally agree and disappointed too, by the absence of this great song.


I have all the SHM-CDs and they are beautifully packaged and sound great, though a tad on the loud side.

2002’s Complete Greatest Hits and the 2 CD Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology are the only comps you need. The former (with excellent remastering by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch) has everything it should including “Tonight She Comes” and the remix of “I’m Not the One”.

The latter comp has all the rare tracks, so there’s no need to include them here again, though for continuity it would’ve been nice. The new hits package is poorly conceived and missing key tracks.

I’ll get the box on the cheap possibly, but don’t need it as I have the SHM-CDs. And since I have the 2 comps I mentioned there’s really no compelling reason for me to buy any of this!


The liner notes for Complete Greatest Hits state the following relating to ‘I’m Not The One’:

From Shake It Up
A remixed version was included on The Cars Greatest Hits & issued as Elektra single #69569 (1/13/86): #32

I read this to mean that this version is the original album version and not the remix. Is that not the case?


@Glenn; yes, the original album version was included on that Complete Greatest Hits set. Quite often, Warners compilations (the Definitive range, especially) will include detailed information on track releases, and denote whether an edit or a remix was otherwise issued. Sometimes, they will put the edits and remixes on the sets, but more often not.


They had all their albums set to be reissued by Edsel in 2011 with lots of bonus tracks and then they were suddenly pulled at the last minute. I can only imagine that somebody put a block on them for whatever reason.


Looking forward to these. Nice to get the albums remastered but would be nice to get deluxe versions and/or bonus tracks. Especially Heartbeat City.

Nice that the “I’m Not The One” remix is on the new hits package. Can trade in the 1985 Greatest Hits compilation now. Agree that “Hello Again” belongs on the hits compilation.

Ben Williams

Looks like a very good box set design-wise and the promise of new remasters is great HOWEVER when you factor in the fact that you can get the first 5 Cars albums for a tenner on Amazon and this set has NO bonus tracks, like the Faces set from last year, this set seems disappointing, especially for $40 in the US, and I assume £30+ in the UK. For the sake of slipping in a 7th disc, they could’ve added all the odds and ends from the Anthology collection from way back, and hey, a live album or something and make this a totally definitive Cars set for the years advertised. The best-of looks nice but with the many Cars collections already there, they should have made the album collection too good to resist and to make us all sell off our old 5 disc Original Album Series set and part ways with £30 for a new remastered set.

This all being said, at least care and attention has been applied to this set rather than the forthcoming reissue abomination that is Off The Wall, with added chalk. Maybe Rhino are going to include a miniature toy car or drink mixer (as seen on the front cover of Shake It Up) to really make us all want this new set…


I’m a big fan of the Cars but I’m not interested in these releases at all. No rarities of any real significance, and the first five albums have already been remastered at lease once, with several of them also available in audiophile versions from MFSL or Audio Fidelity. The Door to Door album isn’t as bad as its reputation might suggest, but it’s not great either and it’s not worth purchasing the six CD set just to get a remastered version of that one. And all of the original albums are readily available on vinyl at low prices.

The new “best of” CD is even more useless, since there’s already an excellent 1 CD compilation of their Elektra material available (The Complete Greatest Hits from 2002), and the Just What I Needed 2 CD anthology from 1995 is a great album for fans that want more than just the hits but don’t necessarily want all of the albums.

Ron Hatchell

– Lots of great songs. I even liked a couple of songs off their last studio album, but wasn’t happy about the lack of guitar solos. The original guitar player was outstanding, and really was able to shine during this period with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. I hope those who don’t already have these albums enjoy the set if they get it.
– Regarding just wanting one song from a greatest hits package, maybe you can buy a loss-less version of the single song from an online store next time one is released.

Michael Pendlebury

I quite like the look of the boxed set – particularly if the sound quality is good. Shame that I’d have to buy the Best Of just to get a decent sounding “Tonight She Comes”.

Charles K.

Doesn’t matter how low record companies get, they have been pulling that for ages and will continue to do so. I have many useless GH packages in my collection just for one song or mix just because of this practice.

Beep Beep

Meanwhile, still no Greg Hawkes Niagara Falls on CD. Which has nothing to do with Elektra, but still. Sigh.


FWIW: Heartbeat City and The Cars are scheduled to be released on SACD by MFSL sometime this year.

Wayne Klein

We will see if these come to pass. They’ve been on the books doe, what, two years?

Al Rearick

Geez, may as well keep my cheap 5-CD box of the first five and try to find that 2-CD comp that came out some years back which had the plethora of b-sides and non-album tracks. Talk about a missed opportunity.


Nice. Hopefully many will give it a try. I think somehow the Cars have been overlooked since their 1980’s heyday. Their debut is one of the best of the time period.

Mark Jensen

I’ll be very excited about the cd album box set if the mastering is good. I haven’t been able to find a decent version of Panorama on cd yet. I only have the one from the 5 disc “original album series”, and I think it sounds horrible compared to the vinyl. The first two albums from that older set also are really badly mastered, but I have better versions of both of those on other cd’s. But I’d be glad to pay the $40 for this new set if in includes decent cd copy of Panorama, so I’ll hope the mastering in this set is decent.


What a useless reissue!!! No bonus tracks??? No Deluxe versions? There are already enough Best of”s by the Cars and yes, it is nice to have a remastered sound but if you go that step, why not reissue the individual cd’s as a 2cd of 2cd/dvd and do it right? So now we have to buy this and wait till someone sees the light and does reissue the fantastic “Heartbeat City” and others with bonus remixes, demo’s, live material and video’s? Pfff, some of these reissues are baffling.


Been hoping for a double hits LP set- the old greatest hits was the first record I opened/played 8 years ago when I hooked up my turntable after 18 yrs of CDs.
Leaving Hello Again off tho… my second fave behind Magic.. it would bug me every time I contemplate playing it, so I’m gonna pass. Not a big enough fan for all the album tracks to go for the full box.
They could have pressed up the Complete Greatest Hits- 5 cuts per side: 19:46 / 21:35 / 18:27 / 19:43


Looks like “Magic” is also missing from the 2CD Hits package… Odd.

Dan Yesindeedy

2 Cd or 1 for the Greatest Hits?

Charles K.

Glad to read Ric is overseeing the remastering of these. That’s a great price for the CD set as well.


Hi Paul

Is this a USA only release?
Or just that there’s no links for Europe as yet?

SDE Hall of Fame

The latter.

CJ Feeney

No white borders on the mini lp sleeves. Does this mean they will be closer to the Japanese mini lp standard like the Springsteen set and the Dylan and Beatles mono boxes?

If so I’ll be happy to pick up the CD set.

SDE Hall of Fame

Don’t know, although unlikely at this price point.


Shame that they don’t even manage to include a DVD with the promo videos with the ‘Best of’.

Weren’t the studio albums supposed to come out as rereleases years ago with bonus stuff?

Russell Emberson

Pity there’s no bonus tracks (apart from the Best of), I would have thought Heartbeat City would be ripe for a deluxe edition,

SDE Hall of Fame

Surprisingly few remixes from that album considering the number of singles and the era.


Yes, not a lot of material. They could do a 2cd with the below

Hello Again (Extended Version) 5:54
Hello Again (Dub) 6:02
Heartbeat City (Crossover Mix) 8:51

B sides:
My Best Friend’s Girl

The rest live material and demo’s. And whatever is in the vault?


The heartbeat city mix appears to be a dj mix, or unofficial.


Yes, I can’t find it as an official release. It seems they (label?) commissioned it but never released it for some reason. I do hope it will be on a deluxe version of Heartbeat City if they ever release one. It’s an excellent mix. You can rip it from YouTube for those who want it.


Heartbeat City was planned to have a 25th Anniversary Edition back in 2009. Ric Ocasek even talked about it during one of his art shows. It was to include unheard Orr tracks. Then….nothing….



and no VIDEOS???? at this point???? bizarre.


Waiting for reviews of the mastering.


A “Best of” without “Hello Again”?

Lee Taylor

Not only that, but a “Best Of ” without “It’s All I Can Do.”

roger nelson

Odd. Ignores the 2011 album, but has a remix of one of the tracks on the 2cd best of. Bonus tracks as well.