Day 112: A song by your favorite band/artist whose name begins with “C”.

“Dangerous Type” – The Cars

Dangerous TypeYou really should have seen this one coming. If not the song, at least the band.

The Cars were my first favorite band. While all my friends were oohing and aahing about The Police in 1983/1984, I was telling everyone I knew about The Cars.

Two things about that:

After the furor about The Police faded away (and Sting bailed) I was still talking about The Cars. (At least until Ric Ocasek bailed.)

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Now, I’ve talked a lot about songs from The Cars (here and here and here). But for my money, The Cars’ first two albums, (The Cars and Candy-O) can go up against the debut and sophomore albums of any band and hold their own or flat-out crush the competition. They’re a formidable one-two punch. The quality of the songs was high, the sound of the albums was fresh, and the band was helping to break new ground overall. But, for some reason, The Cars gets most of the glory (even from me).

Two of my favorite songs on Candy-O are “Dangerous Type” and “It’s All I Can Do.” Both have something in common that I love: through both songs, the keyboard hooks are repeated multiple times. Greg Hawkes, in a brilliant move, changes the keyboard voice he uses each time. It’s a small detail, but it does so much to add to the feel and mood of the songs.

But “Dangerous Type”…

While “All Mixed Up” was the perfect song to close out The Cars, “Dangerous Type” was the perfect closer for Candy-O. The song starts off somewhat sparsely, but through the song the keyboards, guitars and drums build until, by the end, there’s a wall of sound filling your ears until the song (and thus the album) slowly… fades… away…

I especially love the keyboards and drum fills. (Ha! Fooled you! It’s not the bass line this time.) It really is the variety of the drum fills in the second half of the songs that completely sold me on the song.

Perhaps not surprisingly, The Cars were also my first concert. In 1987 they came to the Springfield Civic Center in support of their Door To Door album. (The album wasn’t doing particularly well, and the show was not full. Which is probably why I was able to get such good seats. Not floor seats or anything, but pretty close nonetheless.)

While I was pretty excited for the show in general, I really, really, really, hoped they played “Dangerous Type.” I just wanted to see David Robinson playing those beloved drum parts live.

Icehouse opened, and they played for nearly an hour. (They were very good, garnering my fandom as well.) And then, The Cars were on stage. The band was never dynamic performers. They pretty much stood in their spots and played. And that was fine; I knew that going in. But, the show just wasn’t what I hoped. There was no fire, no electricity. And it was short. Barely longer than Icehouse played.

But, they did play “Dangerous Type.” I was ecstatic. I was in a good spot to watch Mr. Robinson, and it was great. It was the highlight of the show for me. I can still picture it in my head, even after all this time.

Stewart Copeland may be the better drummer, but not that night. Not to me. (Take that Police lovers!)

In retrospect, I think the cracks within the band were starting to show. It wasn’t too much later they decided to disband. Or maybe, since it was my first show, my expectations were too high. Either way, I was let down.

But I’ll always have “Dangerous Type.”