"Drive" is a 1984 song by The Cars, the third single from the band's Heartbeat City album released in March 1984 and their biggest international hit. It was written by Ric Ocasek and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange with the band.[1] Lead vocals were sung by Cars bassist Benjamin Orr.[2]

"Drive" was The Cars' highest charting single in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On the Adult Contemporary chart, the song went to number one.[3] It reached number five in the UK Singles Chart on its initial release; following its use at the Live Aid concert in 1985 as the background music to a montage of clips depicting the contemporaneous Ethiopian famine,[4][5] the song was re-released and peaked at number four. It reached number four in West Germany and number six in Canada.

In a retrospective review of the single, AllMusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song for being "a gorgeous ballad that matches heartfelt songwriting to an alluring electronic soundscape. The music reflects the lyrical tone with a lovely melody that rises and falls in a soothing yet sad fashion."[6]


 [hide*1 Music video

Music video[edit]Edit

The music video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton and features model and actress Paulina Porizkova, who would later become Ric Ocasek's wife.[7] The video alternates between shots of Orr sitting in a disused nightclub, facing mannequins posed at the bar as customers and bartender, and scenes that depict the breakdown of a relationship between the characters played by Ocasek and Porizkova. Ultimately left alone, the woman cries and laughs hysterically for a time before visiting the nightclub. She looks sadly in through a dirty window at the stage, where tuxedo-clad mannequins of the band members are posed with their instruments as if playing a show, and turns to walk away as the video ends.

Track listing[edit]Edit

7" single
  1. "Drive"
  2. "Stranger Eyes"[8]
12" single
  1. "Drive"
  2. "My Best Friend's Girl"
  3. "Stranger Eyes"[9]


Chart (1984) Peak


Austrian Singles Chart 8
Canadian RPM 100 2
Dutch Singles Chart 12
Irish Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 9
New Zealand Singles Chart 5
Swedish Singles Chart 15
Swiss Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 4
US BillboardHot 100 3
US BillboardHot Adult Contemporary 1
US BillboardTop Rock Tracks 9

In popular culture[edit]Edit


  • The song played in one episode of TV series The Carrie Diaries[10]
  • Featured in Danny Boyle's The Beach (2000) soundtrack.
  • Featured on Nip/Tuck, episode 'Viriginia Hayes' (2010).
  • The song was also played by Bumblebee in the 2007 Transformers film.
  • Featured in Season 2, episode 22 of The Mindy Project

Cover versions[edit]Edit

  • The song was covered in 1984 by British TV Personality Des O'Connor on his album Des O'Connor Now.
  • The song was covered in 1990 by US jazz singer Morgana King on her album I Just Can't Stop Loving You.
  • The song was covered in 1996 by US singer Jon Secada, song titled "too late too soon", on his album Secada.
  • The song was covered in 1998 by Danish pop group Los Umbrellos on their debut album Flamenco Funk.
  • The song was covered in 2000 by the New Zealand group Strawpeople featuring the vocalist Bic Runga.
  • A cover by Australian band The Paradise Motel appeared in the 2001 film He Died with a Felafel in His Hand.
  • In 2001, the German rock band Scorpions covered the song on their live unplugged album Acoustica.[11]
  • Electronic producer Blu Mar Ten produced a cover version of this for his 2003 album The Six Million Names of God.[12]
  • A cover by Ziggy Marley was featured in the 2004 film 50 First Dates.[13] The song also appears in the film Transformers.
  • The band Deftones covered this song on their 2006 album Saturday Night Wrist. Deftones' cover version appeared on the trailer of the 2009 remake of The Stepfather.
  • Portuguese band Blind Zero covered this song in 2006.
  • Julio Iglesias included a cover on the album Romantic Classics, released in 2006.
  • Ruth-Ann Boyle, part of the trip hop group Olive, covered the song in her solo album, What About Us that was released in 2007, exclusively in iTunes.
  • The song was covered in 2008 by Hard Rock band Lo-Pro.
  • In 2010, Australian actor/singer Jason Donovan recorded a cover version of "Drive" for his covers album Soundtrack of the 80s.[14] The album went Top 20 in the UK in October 2010.[15]
  • In 2011, American rock singer/songwriter David Cook performed a live cover of "Drive" at Mix 94.1's Pet-a-Palooza in Las Vegas.
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