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Quick Takes On The Cars, Huey Lewis & The News, Johnny Cash, & Mr. Big

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Coming to CD and LP on March 30th are expanded editions of the Cars‘ Shake It Up and Heartbeat City albums. Each set features the recently remastered original album along with rare and unreleased bonus tracks. The album’s booklets feature new liner notes written by David Fricke, who details the history of each album with new interviews by band members Ric Ocasek for 1984’s Heartbeat City and David Robinson for 1981’s Shake It Up. (Press Release)

Shake It Up was released on November 6th, 1981. The album, which was the band’s last album to be produced by Roy Thomas Baker, topped out at Number Nine on the charts and included the Top Four classic, “Shake It Up.”

Heartbeat City was released on March 13th, 1984. The set, which was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and the Cars, peaked at Number Three with the album spawning four Top 40 hits — You Might Think” (#7); “Magic” (#12);”Drive” (#3); “Hello Again” (#20); and “Why Can’t I Have You” (#33). The new addition features the 1985 single “Tonight She Comes” (#7).

The Cars will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium. Also entering this year are the Moody Blues, Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, and early influence gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The event will take place with an edited version of the events airing at a later date on HBO.

The classic ’80s hits of Huey Lewis & The News will be the basis of an upcoming “jukebox” musical likely aimed for Broadway. Lewis appeared in a video with Jimmy Kimmel to announce The Heart Of Rock And Roll would use the News’ hits based around a newly-written story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “With a book by Jonathan Abrams based on an original story by Tyler Mitchell and Abrams, the show will feature chart hits by the San Francisco band including ‘Stuck With You,’ ‘Hip To Be Square’ and ‘If This Is It,’ as well as ‘The Power Of Love.’ Gordon Greenberg (Holiday Inn) is attached to direct.” No opening date for the show has been announced.

Coming on April 6th is the new album Johnny Cash: Forever Words. The set features new music created using Cash’s “handwritten letters, poems and documents, penned across the entirety of his life” as the basis for the lyrics. Among the high profile songwriters performing their posthumous compositions with the “Man In Black” are Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Chris Cornell, Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson, Jewel, the Jayhawks, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss & Union Station, T. Bone Burnett, and Rosanne Cash. (Press release)

Pat Torpey, the drummer for Mr. Big, best known for the 1992 three-week chart-topper “To Be With You” died on February 7th at age 64 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. Torpey, who was a stage drummer for both American Bandstand and Solid Gold, went on to work with John Parr, Belinda Carlisle, the Knack — and later on Robert Plant, drumming on his 1988 tour in support of Now And Zen. (Vintage Vinyl News)

Photo Courtesy of Elektra Records

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