Candy-O

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For the title track, see Candy-O (song).
Candy-O
Studio album by The Cars
Released June 13, 1979 (1979-06-13)
Recorded 1979 at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 36:25
Label Elektra
Producer Roy Thomas Baker
The Cars chronology
The Cars
(1978)
Candy-O
(1979)
Panorama
(1980)
Singles from Candy-O
  1. "Let's Go"
    Released: June 12, 1979 (1979-06-12)
  2. "It's All I Can Do"
    Released: September 25, 1979 (1979-09-25)
  3. "Double Life"
    Released: December 11, 1979 (1979-12-11)

Candy-O is the second studio album by the American rock band The Cars. It was released in 1979 on Elektra Records. Featuring the Top 20 hit "Let's Go" and the minor hit "It's All I Can Do", the album surpassed the commercial success of its predecessor, charting 15 places better on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also featured a notable album cover by pin-up artist Alberto Vargas.

Background[edit]

Most of the songs on Candy-O were written after the release of The Cars, meaning that most of the leftovers from the first album (including the popular encore "Take What You Want") were scrapped; "Night Spots", a reject from the first album, was still included.[1]

Released as the follow-up to their 1978 hit album The Cars, Candy-O peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album re-entered the charts at #179 in 1984. The record was also ranked number 82 on Billboard's "Top Albums of the Year" chart for 1979.[2]

Three singles were lifted from Candy-O: "Let's Go" hit #14, making it the first Top 20 Cars single, "It's All I Can Do" peaked at #41, barely missing the Top 40, and "Double Life" failed to chart.

Cover art[edit]

The album cover was painted by artist Alberto Vargas, who was known for his paintings of pin-up girls that appeared in Esquire and Playboy magazines in the 1940s and 1960s. The idea to hire Vargas came from drummer David Robinson, the band's artistic director and a collector of pin-ups. The 83-year-old Vargas had retired several years earlier but was persuaded to take the assignment by his niece, who was a fan of The Cars. The painting, depicting a woman sprawled across the hood of a car, was based on a photo shoot directed by Robinson at a Ferrari dealership. The model, coincidentally named Candy Moore (famous for having played Lucille Ball's onscreen daughter on The Lucy Show), briefly dated Robinson afterward.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
Smash Hits 8/10[6]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[7]

Candy-O has received positive reception from critics. AllMusic critic Greg Prato said that "while the album was not as stellar as its predecessor [The Cars] was, it did contain several classics, resulting in another smash album that solidified the band's standing as one of the most promising new bands of the late '70s."[4] Music critic Robert Christgau said in his review that the album was "cold and thin, shiny and hypnotic, it's what they do best--rock and roll that is definitely pop without a hint of cuteness," giving it a B+ rating.[5]

Rolling Stone critic Tom Carson said, "It's almost inevitable that Candy-O, the Cars' second album, doesn't seem nearly as exciting as their first. The element of surprise is gone, and the band hasn't been able to come up with anything new to replace it. Candy-O is an elaborately constructed, lively, entertaining LP that's packed with good things. And it's got a wonderful title. But it's a little too disciplined, a shade too predictable."[7] Hamish Champ, writer of The 100 Best-Selling Albums of the 70s, said "With UK producer Roy Thomas Baker once again behind the decks, Ric Ocasek and his colleagues produced a follow-up to their hugely successful debut with more of the same quirky, offbeat songs that had caused such a stir the first time around."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ric Ocasek

Side one
No. Title Vocals Length
1. "Let's Go"   Benjamin Orr 3:33
2. "Since I Held You"   Ocasek/Orr 3:16
3. "It's All I Can Do"   Orr 3:44
4. "Double Life"   Ocasek 4:14
5. "Shoo Be Doo"   Ocasek 1:36
6. "Candy-O"   Orr 2:36
Side two
No. Title Vocals Length
7. "Night Spots"   Ocasek 3:15
8. "You Can't Hold on Too Long"   Orr 2:46
9. "Lust for Kicks"   Ocasek 3:52
10. "Got a Lot on My Head"   Ocasek 2:59
11. "Dangerous Type"   Ocasek 4:28

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Arranged by The Cars
  • Produced by Roy Thomas Baker
  • Recorded & Engineered by Geoff Workman; assistant engineer: George Tutko
  • Mastered by George Marino

Packaging personnel[edit]

  • Jeff Albertson – photography
  • Ron Coro, Johnny Lee – art direction and design
  • David Robinson – cover concept
  • Alberto Vargas – cover painting

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Peak
Position
1979 Billboard 200 3
1979 RPM Canada 4
1984 Billboard 200 179

Singles

Year Title Chart Peak
Position
1979 "Let's Go" Billboard Hot 100 14
1979 "It's All I Can Do" Billboard Hot 100 41

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S. Gold July 24, 1979
RIAA – U.S. Platinum August 6, 1979
RIAA – U.S. Triple Platinum April 5, 1995
RIAA – U.S. 4X Platinum December 15, 2001

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Milano, Brett. Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology. Rhino. 
  2. ^ "Top Albums of the Year". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media): TIA-12. December 22, 1979. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  3. ^ Miles, Barry. Scott, Grant. Morgan, Johnny. The Greatest Album Covers of All Time (2005): 96
  4. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Candy-O". AllMusic. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Candy-O". robertchristgau.com. 
  6. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (July 12–25 1979): 25. 
  7. ^ a b c "Candy-O album reviews". www.superseventies.com.