The Cars' Music Sales Increase 2,662% After Ric Ocasek's Death

Ebet Roberts/Redferns
Ric Ocasek and The Cars photographed at the World's Fair grounds in Brussels, Belgium in 1978.

Sales of The Cars’ catalog of albums and songs surged by 2,662% in the wake of the Sept. 15 death of the band’s leader, Ric Ocasek. According to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music, The Cars’ combined albums and songs sold 27,000 copies on Sept. 16 and in the late hours of Sept. 15 (following news of Ocasek’s passing that evening). In the two previous days, The Cars’ music and sold just 1,000.  

In terms of only album sales, The Cars sold 5,000 copies on Sept. 15 and 16 (versus a negligible figure in the two previous days) while the band’s songs sold 22,000 downloads (up from a little under 1,000).

The bulk of The Cars’ album sales on Sept. 15-16 came via the Complete Greatest Hits album (a little over 3,000 sold). The 20-song collection features 16 of the band’s 18 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including the top 10 singles “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think” and “Drive.”

In terms of individual song sales, “Drive” was by far the act’s biggest seller, with nearly 4,000 downloads sold. Rounding out their top five sellers: “Just What I Needed” (2,000), “Magic” (a little under 2,000), “My Best Friend’s Girl” (a little under 2,000) and “You Might Think” (1,000).

Ocasek’s solo catalog of material also posted gains – rising to 1,000 albums and songs sold on Sept. 15-16, up from a negligible sum in the two days previous.

News on The Cars' streaming gains will likely follow in the coming days.

It’s likely The Cars will impact the Sept. 28-dated Billboard charts, following the sales and streaming tracking week of Sept. 13-20 concludes.


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