I Want Candy

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"I Want Candy"
Single by The Strangeloves
from the album I Want Candy
Released 1965 (U.S.)
Recorded 1965
Genre Rock
Length 2:59
Label Bang Records
  • Bert Berns
  • Bob Feldman
  • Jerry Goldstein
  • Richard Gottehrer
Producer(s) The Strangeloves
The Strangeloves singles chronology
"Love, Love"
"I Want Candy"
"Out in the Sun"

"I Want Candy" is a song written and originally recorded by The Strangeloves in 1965 that went to number 11 in the United States.[1] It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.[1]

Original version[edit]

"I Want Candy" was written by Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer in 1965. As writer/producers, Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer had already scored big hits for other artists, including "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels. For this song, the trio took on the moniker of The Strangeloves, and recorded the tune themselves, augmented by studio musicians (co-writer Berns was not involved in the studio recording).

The female vocal half screaming half singing "Baby!" in the middle was an unknown session singer.

Although Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer used their real names in the writing and production credits of this single, they claimed The Strangeloves were actually three Australian brothers (and ex-sheep farmers) named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange. Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer dressed up in shaggy wigs and exotic clothing for publicity photos as The Strangeloves.

"I Want Candy", The Strangeloves' second single, became a top 10 hit in Canada and hit #11 in the US.[1] The record failed to chart in the UK—or in The Strangeloves' so-called "native" country, Australia.


"I Want Candy" has been covered numerous times by other artists since The Strangeloves' original recording.

The Bouncing Souls covered it on their first album The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, the song first hit the UK Singles Chart in 1965, covered by Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, who took it to number 25.[2]

It was also released by The Count Bishops in 1978. However, it failed to chart despite a performance on Top of the Pops.[citation needed]

The song hit the charts again in 1982 with a cover by Bow Wow Wow.

It was covered in 1996 by European production duo The Candy Girls. It featured Valerie Malcolm.

"I Want Candy" was covered by Spice Girl Melanie C for the 2007 film I Want Candy.

Aaron Carter covered the song in 2000 for his second album, Aaron's Party (Come Get It).

Veruca Salt covered the song on their 2007 spring tour.

Good Charlotte covered the song in the film Not Another Teen Movie.

Westlife did a cover in 2000 for their Mother's Day album.

Billie covered the song for her debut album, Honey to the B, but the cover was only included on the MiniDisc edition.

X Factor duo Jedward covered the song for their debut album, Planet Jedward.[citation needed]

Australian R&B singer Cody Simpson recorded his rendition of the song for the soundtrack to the 2011 film Hop.[citation needed]

Kramer produced and sang his version of "I Want Candy" in a satirical techno-dancehall style for his solo LP The Brill Building, a tribute to the songwriters who worked in New York City's Brill Building between 1960 and 1966.[citation needed] It was released on Tzadik Records in 2012.

Widespread Panic covered the song during their 2013 Halloween show in New Orleans.

Bow Wow Wow version[edit]

"I Want Candy"
Single by Bow Wow Wow
from the album The Last of the Mohicans
B-side "King Kong"
Released 1982 (U.S.)
Recorded 1982
Genre Pop rock,[3] new wave[4]
Length 2:46
Label RCA
Producer(s) Bow Wow Wow
Bow Wow Wow singles chronology
"See Jungle! (Jungle Boy)"
"I Want Candy"
"Louis Quatorze"

The song was the single by pop rock group Bow Wow Wow released as the first and only single from their EP The Last of the Mohicans. For many in America, "I Want Candy" was their first introduction to young lead singer Annabella Lwin and the band. The song barely scraped the Top 50, but became an enduring new wave classic. The song gave its name to the band's 1982 release, I Want Candy, which was mainly a compilation, but included a couple of new cuts produced by Kenny Laguna (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts).

The enduring popularity of Bow Wow Wow's recording is partly due to the memorable video that got heavy play in the early days of MTV. This recording is highly associated with 80s pop music.

The Bow Wow Wow recording appeared on two VH1 countdowns:

  • 86 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s
  • 8 on 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s

Bow Wow Wow's recording is frequently included in collections of 80s pop music and on soundtracks for movies that take place in the 80s or in movies that want to make use of the recording's youthful, carefree tone. The recording is on the soundtrack for Blank Check, Private School, Bio-Dome, Daddy Day Care, 200 Cigarettes, High Fidelity, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, Napoleon Dynamite and Marie Antoinette in the form of a remix by Kevin Shields. It appeared on The Simpsons episode "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".

The song was set to appear on the PlayStation 2 video game Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s, but was pulled out of the game for unknown reasons.

The popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after an 80s hit song, named an episode after this song.

The Black Eyed Peas sampled the song for the song "Electric City" on their 2009 album The E.N.D..


Chart (1982) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 39
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 30
Irish Singles Chart[6] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[7] 26
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[8] 23
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 30
UK (Official Charts Company)[10] 9
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11] 62
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[11] 36
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[11] 22

Aaron Carter version[edit]

"I Want Candy"
Single by Aaron Carter
from the album Aaron's Party (Come Get It)
B-side "Jump, Jump"
Released September 4, 2000 (2000-09-04) (U.S.)
Genre Pop
Length 3:16
Label Jive/Zomba
Aaron Carter singles chronology
"Children of the World"
"I Want Candy"
"Aaron's Party (Come Get It)"

Aaron Carter released a cover of "I Want Candy" and released as his 7th single and the second single from his second album Aaron's Party (Come Get It) (2000).

This version of "I Want Candy" begins with a phone conversation with a friend about a girl named Candy and has the participation of his brother Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. Carter promoted it by performing it on the show Lizzie McGuire. A music video was produced to promote the single and was directed by Andrew MacNaughtan.

Chart (2000) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 27
France (SNEP)[13] 46
Germany (Media Control AG)[14] 68
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 27
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[16] 21
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 10
UK (Official Charts Company)[18] 31

Track listings[edit]


  1. "I Want Candy" [Album Version] – 3:13
  2. "I Want Candy" [Instrumental] – 3:13

Maxi CD[20]

  1. "I Want Candy" [Album Version] – 3:13
  2. "I Want Candy" [Instrumental] – 3:13
  3. "Jump Jump" – 2:39

Candy Girls featuring Valerie Malcolm version[edit]

"I Want Candy"
Single by Candy Girls featuring Valerie Malcolm
Released 1996 (UK)
Genre Pop, dance
Label Feverpitch, EMI Records
Candy Girls featuring Valerie Malcolm singles chronology
"Wham Bam"
"I Want Candy"

Candy Girls, who are Rachel Auburn and Paul Masterson,[21] released a cover of I Want Candy and it became their third hit single, peaking at 30 in the UK.[22] It was their last release. After releasing this single, the duo split. Masterson went on to have hits as Amen! UK, The Clergy, Yomanda, Dorothy and Hi-Gate.[23]

Track listings[edit]

Disc 1[24]

  1. I Want Candy (Radio Edit)
  2. I Want Candy (12" Mix)
  3. I Want Candy (Candy's Disco Dub)
  4. I Want Candy (Jon The Dentist's Mix)
  5. I Want Candy (Beat Barons Mix)

Disc 2[25]

  1. I Want Candy (Radio Edit)
  2. Wham Bam
  3. Fee Fi Fo Fum

Melanie C version[edit]

"I Want Candy"
Single by Melanie C
from the album This Time
B-side "Already Gone"
Released March 26, 2007 (2007-03-26)
Recorded 2006
Length 3:23
Label Red Girl
Producer(s) Stephen Hague
Melanie C singles chronology
"The Moment You Believe"
"I Want Candy"
Music video
"I Want Candy" on YouTube

"I Want Candy" was the first single to be taken from Melanie C's fourth album "This Time", in the UK, Denmark and Italy. The song was also the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, and the video saw Melanie dancing for the first time since the Spice Girls. Melanie split her time between the UK and Europe, where she was promoting "The Moment You Believe", and as a result, the single was not heavily promoted and reached #24 - although on the physical chart, the single reached #7. "I Want Candy" went on to sell 12,510 copies in the UK, but had better success in Italy (#9) and Denmark (#12).

Melanie premiered her version of the song during Al Murray's Happy Hour on ITV1, 24 February 2007. The video was premiered on March 2, 2007 in the UK. The song was released as Italy's and Denmark's first single from the new album, where it reached #9 in both countries, while in other European countries the ballad "The Moment You Believe" was chosen.

Music video[edit]

In the video of "I Want Candy", Melanie C is featured in a skin-tight catsuit, featuring a sexually suggestive dance routine with half-naked bodybuilders in crowd-controller uniforms. The video instantly grabbed the number one spot on YouTube with 200,000 hits in its first day.[26]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "I Want Candy" by Melanie C.

  • UK Maxi CD single
  1. "I Want Candy" (Single Version) 3:23
  2. "I Want Candy" (Club Junkies Mix) 6:37
  3. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Electric Vocal Mix) 5:16
  4. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Filtered Disco Dub) 7:33
  5. "I Want Candy" (Music Video) 3:22
  • Italian Maxi CD single
  1. "I Want Candy" (Single Version) 3:23
  2. "I Want Candy" (Club Junkies Mix) 6:37
  3. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Electric Vocal Mix) 5:16
  4. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Filtered Disco Dub) 7:33
  5. "Already Gone" 4:12
  6. "I Want Candy" (Music Video) 3:22
  • UK 7" vinyl single
  1. "I Want Candy"
  2. "Already Gone"
  • Promo CD single
  1. "I Want Candy (Club Junkies Mix) 6:37
  2. "I Want Candy (So-Lo's Electric Vocal Mix) 5:14
  3. "I Want Candy (So-Lo's Filtered Disco Dub) 7:29
  4. "I Want Candy (Single Version) 3:23


Chart (2007) Peak
Denmark (Tracklisten)[27] 9
Italy Singles Top 50 9
UK (Official Charts Company) 24


  • In 1998, the potato chip brand Pringles made an advertisement parodying the song saying "I Want Pringles".
  • The Detroit Red Wings hockey organization had a parody of this song titled "I Want Stanley"
  • Geoffrey Paris parodied the song by modifying the version sung by Aaron Carter, changing the title to "I Want Candy (Dead)".
  • On the album "Surfing" by Megapuss, Devendra Banhart and Cohorts did a rough parody of this song titled "Gun On His Hip And A Rose On His Chest," reciting lyrics such as "*** the president" in place of "I want candy."


  1. ^ a b c Kim Cooper, David Smay, Jake Austen (2001). Feral House, ed. Bubblegum music is the naked truth. p. 135. ISBN 978-0922915699.  "They hoodwinked enough American teens with their phony story, "Aboriginal" drums and cheap Beatle wigs in 1965 to send "I Want Candy" to number 11 on the national charts. If only for that one song, the Strangeloves are worthy of discussion. "I Want Candy" is a revelation. a Bo Diddley jungle beat, jazzy guitar line, and massed, aharmonious male vocals sounding like a fraternity at its drunken pinnacle"
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 535. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Top SA musos record favourite tracks for Ray-Ban anniversary". Bizcommunity.com. Retrieved 24 June 2013.  "Pop rock group Bow Wow Wow released 'I Want Candy' as the first and only single from their EP "The Last of the Mohicans".
  4. ^ Tom Demalon. "I Want Candy review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 24 June 2013.  "The song, a cover of a Strangeloves hit (...) became an enduring new wave classic."
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "I want candy in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 24 June 2013.  Only one result when searching "I want candy"
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bow Wow Wow search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  8. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  9. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy". Top 40 Singles.
  10. ^ "1982 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 26th June 1982". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c "Bow Wow Wow awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Aaron Carter – I Want Candy". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Aaron Carter – I Want Candy" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Aaron Carter - I Want Candy". Charts.de. Media Control.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Aaron Carter search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aaron Carter – I Want Candy" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aaron Carter – I Want Candy". Singles Top 60.
  18. ^ "2000 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 16th September 2000". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  19. ^ www.discogs.com
  20. ^ www.discogs.com
  21. ^ Discogs
  22. ^ Polyhex
  23. ^ Discogs
  24. ^ Discogs
  25. ^ Discogs
  26. ^ "Home". MelanieC.net. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ http://www.avclub.com/articles/matmos-covers-bow-wow-wow,100019/

External links[edit]