Friday, June 13, 2014

The Cars - Candy-O

Today (June 13th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Candy-O, the second studio album from the Cars. The 1979 release spent sixty-two weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 3. It also hit number 30 in the UK, number 7 in Australia, number 6 in New Zealand, and number 4 in Canada.

Side one begins with "Let's Go". As the first single, it went to number 51 in the UK, number 40 in New Zealand, number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 6 in Australia, and number 5 in Canada (I owned a copy on 45). The combination of the instruments on this one comes together for a really high energy song. It takes me back to my early days of high school.

The mid-tempo "Since I Held You" follows. The listener can really connect to the emotion of longing on this one.

"It's All I Can Do", the second single, charted at number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 in Canada. I remember this one from a lot of radio airplay too; it really spoke to those teenaged fascinations I was having as a fourteen year old freshman. The synth hooks on the chorus are very wistful.

"Double Life" was the third single. I do not have much recollection of this one from back in 1979; the song about infidelity did not make much of an impression on the pop charts which I mostly listened to at the time. It leads right into "Shoo Be Doo", a short minute-half long quirky new-wave track. My understanding is that album-oriented rock stations often played them together because of that segue way link.

"Candy-O", the title track, was also the B-side to the third single. My exposure to this track mostly came from the album-oriented rock stations; I suspect this was a case where the deejays flipped the single as it is much stronger, in my opinion, than the A-side was. The guitar work is the highlight for me.

Side two starts with "Night Spots", an ode to a seductive blonde woman seen out at the club.

"You Can't Hold on Too Long" opens with a small guitar riff that reminds me of "Sweet Transvestite" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The rest of the song does not do a lot for me though.

"Lust For Kicks", a song about the sexual attraction between a guy and a gal, has a carnal carnival vibe to it.

The B-side to the second single was "Got a Lot on My Head", another song about overwhelming obsession. I had the 45 and would play this side of the single as much as I did the A-side.

The album closes with strong "Dangerous Type", another album-oriented rock favorite.

Back in the day, I only had a couple of the singles but not the whole album; they radio provided me a good bit of the songs. I did pick it up digitally though about five or so years ago, when I was expanding my library for listening on the iPod. Outside of the singles and a couple of the deeper cuts, Candy-O does not score too high for me. So many of the other albums by the Cars easily outshine this one.

For more of my reviews featuring the Cars, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Great album. Great cover art. Great Summer of music in 1979.