Ric Ocasek: “Emotion In Motion” (1986)

Ric was apparently a one-hit wonder, and this was the hit. I know, I know, tell it to Devo.

Kronomyth 2.01: Moving cars.

You know, if they wanted to put Ric Ocasek in a fairytale, they simply could have shot a documentrary: international rock star dating a top model. Of course, life’s an illusion (love is a dream), so I’m sure he had his challenges – like trying to carry a model that probably weighed as much as he did. But me, I was rooting for the evil dwarf.

“Emotion in Motion” is a really beautiful song that builds up nicely. It was also Ric Ocasek’s only hit single as a solo artist. Kind of hard to believe, I know, but I’m sure those royalty checks from The Cars were some consolation. Note that the single version was about forty seconds shorter than the original. I compared them using a stopwatch (because, you know, master of time et cetera) and found that all they did was shorten the intro and the outro. (“Oh, is that so?” you say.) The flip side is the album version of “P.F.J.” I read in an interview that the song is about people who wear monogrammed shirts because, I guess, they needed to be taken down a notch, since monogrammed shirts are (again, apparently) responsible for so much evil in the world.

And that would be the end of it, except that those sneaky Brits slipped an unreleased track onto the B side of the 12-inch single, “Step By Step.” It’s more or less filler, the sort of thing that may have missed the cut for one of his albums but in line with what you’d expect from a B side. I wouldn’t make hunting it down your life’s work, wrote the man who spent two hours hunting down information on Ric Ocasek’s only Top 20 single and still hasn’t figured out the origins of the extended version.

Read more Ric Ocasek reviews

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Emotion in Motion (Ric Ocasek) (3:55)
B1. P.F.J. (Ric Ocasek) (3:39)

UK 12-inch single version
A1. Emotion in Motion (Ric Ocasek)
B1. P.F.J. (Ric Ocasek)
B2. Step By Step (Ric Ocasek)

German 12-inch single version
A1. Emotion in Motion (LP version) (Ric Ocasek)
B1. Emotion in Motion (edit version) (Ric Ocasek)
B2. Step By Step (Ric Ocasek)

US 12-inch promotional single version
A1/B1. Emotion in Motion (Ric Ocasek) (4:41)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch and 12-inch single in September 1986 in the US and Australia (Geffen, 7-28617), the UK (Geffen, GEF 9/(T)), Germany (Geffen, 920555-0), Japan (Geffen, P-2167), Peru (Warner Bros., 0728617.9) and Portugal (Geffen, 1591067) with picture sleeve; reached #15 on the US charts (charted on September 6, 1986 for 19 weeks). Also released as promotional 12-inch single in 1986 in the US (Geffen, PRO-A-2531) feat. A on both sides.

2 thoughts on “Ric Ocasek: “Emotion In Motion” (1986)

  1. Ric’s solo stuff is really worth a listen, last album Nexterday was excellent, but all are worth hearing. Not groundbreaking but simply very enjoyable, which is fine by me. Although I’m missing Beatitude, very rare on cd for some reason.

  2. One hit wonder, my goodness, this man was a master of music, and arrangements. I know about “Emotion in motion” in how it was edited just before its release. The editing brought out some smooth changeovers in humming to the increasing instrumental, in several occasions in the song turning humm into wooooo! It was changed from its original recording just weeks before release.
    I was there!

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