Moving In Stereo

Songfacts®:

  • With lead vocals by Cars bass player Benjamin Orr, this song uses various studio production techniques to explore the stereo spectrum as the sound goes back and forth between the speakers. While it was never released as a single, the song was popular on rock radio stations and known as a great one to listen to through headphones.
  • The song draws parallels between manipulating a stereo recording and moving through life. It's a rare song where the word "tremolo" appears, which means manipulating a single note.
  • This was written by Cars singer/guitarist Ric Ocasek and keyboard player Greg Hawkes. It's one of the few songs Hawkes received songwriter credit on.
  • This was featured in the 1982 movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High during an unforgettable erotic scene where the actress Phoebe Cates gets out a swimming pool while actor Judge Rienhold "fulfills" his fantasy. Incidentally, this song is not included on the music soundtrack available for the film. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Marieta, GA
  • This song is often used to reference the famous Fast Times At Ridgemont High scene in which it appears. TV series that have paid homage include:

    Family Guy in the 2001 episode "The Kiss Seen Round the World," when Meg fantasizes about newscaster Tom Tucker.

    One Tree Hill in the 2009 episode "I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight" when Clay sees Sara getting out of his pool.

    Stranger Things in the 2019 episode "Suzie, Do You Copy?" when a group of women ogle a male lifeguard at the pool. Later in the episode, Dustin says his girlfriend is like Phoebe Cates, "only hotter."

    The song has also appeared in episodes of Parenthood, Scrubs, Alias and The Sopranos.

Comments: 22

  • Henry from Sanford, Florida, Usa"Moving in Stero" is the epitome of the New Wave genre of the 1970s & '80s. The tone is set with that opening synth-bass line followed by the vocals of the late-great Ben Orr. This sound epitomized new wave...
  • Bridgett from ColumbusCan't believe this song came out when I was 17 now 56. I was listening to the radio and this song came on, it brought me back to the best time in my life. Music is amazing like that.
  • Craig from CaliA pop masterpiece from end to end. Best listened in a car with high-end audio.
  • Brent from Denair, CaOh Phoebe...
  • Mark from Worcester, MiI should add that Moving In Stereo and Best Friends Girl were the last live songs that Nirvana ever played. Weird eh? Cobain walked off the stage in Munich and instructed the tour manager to cancel the rest of the tour. That was on March 1st, 1994. He was dead a month later. There must have been some significance to the two songs to Cobain.
  • Mark from Worcester, Mifor some odd reason Kurt Cobain played this song, at his last gig, before canceling the tour and subsequently committing suicide.
    He played this along with My Best Friends Girl. I don't believe the band had ever played a Cars tune previous.
  • Rob from Duluth, GaYeah, half the band is not dead. Ben Orr died in 2000 of pancreatic cancer. Ric Okasek is alive and well and living in New York - doing artwork amongst other things. Guitarist, Elliot Easton, and keyboardist, Greg Hawkes, are still around. They were touring in the New Cars with singer Todd Rundgren from 2006 to 2008. There is currently talk about another album and a reunion tour with Okasek. Drummer David Robinson, not the original drummer, but from the "classic" lineup has also rejoined the band. Kasim Sulton, bassist for the New Cars would likely replace Orr in the lineup.
  • Brian from Boston, MaGreat song.I will always think of the masturbation scene in Fast Times At Ridgemont High when I hear this.
  • Lynne from Rochester, MiIf the Bose headphones don't work, thinking of Ben Orr will!
  • Rosie from Winnipeg, Mb, Canadathis belongs on the list of top 10 great headphone songs!!
  • Vince from San Francisco, CaThis is a great song! I think its about the pressures of life and everything is thesame everyday and the singer is feeling lots of stress and he says its so easy to just breakdown or committ suicide.
  • John from Wilmington, NcHalf the band is dead? Benjamin Orr is the only who has died that I know of.
  • Jake from Spencer, NyThe Cars' "Moving In Stereo," from their fantastic 1978 debut LP (one of my favorites), is one of the coolest songs I've ever heard. The synthesizers, guitars, bass, and drums are truly outstanding, as are Ben Orr's varied vocals and the futuristic vocal effects. It's the perfect blend of new wave and rock (but then, so is the rest of the album!!). The song is very haunting and ominous-sounding--very different from the first seven tracks on the album. Also, the intro and ending perfectly connect the equally classic tracks "Bye Bye Love" and "All Mixed Up" into a three-song medley.
  • Steve from Torrance, CaThis song appeared on the first Cars album, which was released in 1978, not 1982 as listed above. It was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who is also known for his work with Queen and Starcastle.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaCan't believe half the bands' already dead. I saw them with Nick Gilder in '80 and would've liked to have seen them again.
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaOne of my favorite Cars songs. Oh man I hope they tour soon!
  • Pepper from Virginia Beach, Vaawesome song, great job by amy heckerling and cameron crowe to use this song in an unforgettable scene
  • Scott from Chicago, IlRumour has it that one can obtain orgasm by listening to this with bose headphones.....
  • Caveman from New Canaan, Ct"Doesn't anyone effing knock anymore?!"
  • Roger from Grapevine, TxThis song "travels" around your speaker system during the first set of verses and once during the middle of the song. Each channel is faded in/out, in order. It's a cool effect when you're in your car, as the sound moves from front right, to back right to back left to front left.
  • Steph from Ottawa, CanadaUsed in an episode of Family Guy that rips off the Fast Times scene. Very funny stuff.
  • Larry from Palm Springs, CaPhoebe doesn't get out of the swimming pool topless. She's swimming in her bikini while Judge is in a bathroom having his fantasy. Then the song starts, she climbs out of the pool, starts walking towards him (he's now by the side of the pool), unsnaps the top and takes it off as she walks into his embrace. Hot scene, perfect use of the music!
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