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    Niagara Falls

    • Year Released: 1982
    Niagara Falls is the first solo album released by Greg Hawkes, best known as an original member of The Cars. It was released in 1983 by Passport Records. Hawkes plays all instruments (with one exception—see below), with programmed drums and multiple layers of keyboard parts, as well as rhythm guitar. It was recorded at Syncro Sound, then The Cars's private recording studio. Tuneful and not overly experimental, it sounds (despite the instrumental nature of the material) very much like the Shake It Up era of The Cars. "Jet Lag" and "Voyage Into Space" are the only tunes to feature lyrics: "Jet lag / It's a real drag" and "Voyage into space / Check out some other place" -- sometimes processed through a vocoder. "Voyage Into Space" also features the artist's wife, Elaine Hawkes, on flute. Hawkes would not release another solo album for 25 years. His second solo album, though also instrumental, was very different in sound than this, his first: The Beatles Uke (2005) featured Hawkes playing instrumental versions of Beatles songs on the ukelele. As of this writing, Niagara Falls has yet to be released on CD.
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