Elektra and Arista had been vying for the attention of The Cars and Elektra was the winner – and the band reaped the benefits, Arista was somewhat New Wave heavy at the time. The Cars would become Elektra’s primary New Wave act.
I was living in the Huntington (WV)/Ashland (KY)/Ironton (OH) market at the time, and while their first single, “Just What I Needed,” was shunned by the stations in the market, “My Best Friend’s Girl” got some airplay. I remember playing it on WAMX when I joined their staff later that year. Although I never heard their first single in the market, I got to know the band from visiting Columbus, Ohio that previous summer where “Just What I Needed” was a staple of the town’s AOR stations.
Unlike the first single that featured the vocals by Benjamin Orr, “My Best Friends Girl” features the voice that became part of the iconic sound of the band – Ric Ocasek. Interestingly enough, the band recorded the song in the key of “E,” but the master tape was sped up and this increased the pitch to the key of “F.”
“My Best Friend’s Girl” only charted at #35 – so it also fits our Thirty Something Thursday category as well.