The dates of the shows these were taken from are not specified, they are from one of the mid-1980's tours. Thankfully, bassist Benjamin Orr, who passed away in 2000, is definitely recorded here. Orr shared lead vocal duties with Ric Ocasek. Perhaps most notably, he sang lead on the ballad Drive, one of their biggest hits. The bands also included keyboardist Greg Hawkes, drummer David Robinson and lead guitarist Elliot Easton.
The recordings came archival stuff, nothing set up with the intent of being released as a live album, so audiophiles may be a bit disappointed, but for most of us, this is great stuff. There is nothing here distractingly bad, I thoroughly enjoyed everything just fine. This is basically a live greatest hits album, all the biggest ones are here. There's always a nugget that you may wish was included, but they do a pretty good job of bringing together everything most want to hear. Of course, these do predate the reunion album, 2011's Move Like This, so nothing from there is included.
The arrangements for pretty much all the songs stick pretty close to the album release versions. On the one hand, it is sometimes nice to hear the artists take their songs in a different direction, but by the same token, it's good to sick with what you always know and love. The Cars music has always had sort of a quiet, high energy. They never let up, the music is always upbeat, even when the lyrics are less so. There isn't a lot of between song banter, so the quiet, mysterious Ric Ocasek will remain as such after this. This just reinforces the band's quiet strength. You won't find the unbridled energy of an AC/DC, but you will get a precise, melodic piece of rock and roll.
If you are a fan of The Cars, this is exactly what you have come to love. Great vocal performances by not one but two outstanding vocalists, highly energetic, well written songs and some of the best keyboards in rock. For true fans, it's a comfort to hear more from the late, great Benjamin Orr. For causal fans, this works as a greatest hits collection, too. It's a great effort from a great band.