How Road Rage Inspired the New Wave Hit ‘Cars’


As punk rock crested in 1978 and the more refined New Wave emerged, European artists began experimenting with synthesizers. “Cars,” by British musician Gary Numan, was among electronic pop’s early hits. Inspired by a London road-rage incident, the song peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s pop chart in June 1980.

Recently, Mr. Numan—the song’s composer, singer, keyboardist and producer—and keyboardist Chris Payne looked back at the hit’s evolution. Mr. Numan’s new live album, “When the Sky Came Down” (BMG), is due Dec. 13. Edited…



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