|Song by The Cars|
|from the album Candy-O|
|Released||June 13, 1979|
|Recorded||1979 at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles|
|Genre||New wave, hard rock|
|Producer(s)||Roy Thomas Baker|
|Candy-O track listing|
"Candy-O" is a song by the American rock band The Cars, the title track of their 1979 album Candy-O. It was written by the band's songwriter Ric Ocasek, was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, and features Cars bassist Benjamin Orr on lead vocals.
The style of the song is perhaps more guitar-heavy and less new wave-sounding than many Cars songs. The chorus is minimal, with only one line ("Candy-O / I need you so"), leading to loud guitar and drum fills dividing the rhythm less evenly. Originally, the chorus lyric was followed by the musical term "fortissimo" (an appropriate description of the music), sung over these loud drum and guitar breaks; this can be heard on the performance of the song on The Cars Live: Musikladen 1979 DVD. AllMusic reviewer Tom Maginnis has described the song as "slightly sinister", and one of the darkest and best songs from Candy-O, The Cars' second album. He also refers to Elliot Easton's "finest solo on the album, starting with a burst of speeding liftoff effects and then moving into Eddie Van Halen territory, ripping off a series of tight scorching trills that are quickly tucked into the next verse before wandering too close to '70s guitar virtuosity..."
According to Ric Ocasek, "Candy-O" was not based on a specific person. When asked by Bill Flanagan of Trouser Press magazine if the Candy-O title was a reference to "Ocasek", or "Orr", Ric Ocasek dryly replied, "The O stands for 'obnoxious'."
"Candy-O" has been covered by such bands as the Melvins, whose 1989 album Ozma included a version of the song, described as a "random what-the-hell moment" that "shouldn't work, but actually does" by AllMusic reviewer Ned Raggett. The song has also been performed by the Todd Rundgren-led New Cars, who included a live version of it on their 2006 album It's Alive.
- Benjamin Orr: Lead vocals, bass guitar
- Ric Ocasek: Rhythm guitar
- Elliot Easton: Lead guitar
- Greg Hawkes: Keyboard, electric piano
- David Robinson: Drums
- Maginnis, Tom. "The Cars: Candy-O song review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "The Cars interview".
- Frozen Fire: The Story of The Cars, by Toby Goldstein and Ebet Roberts, Contemporary Books, Inc. Chicago. ISBN 0-8092-5257-0
- "Candy-O The Cars 1979". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
- Raggett, Ned. "Melvins: Ozma review". allmusic. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The New Cars: It's Alive!". allmusic. Retrieved October 26, 2010.