It's All I Can Do

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"It's All I Can Do"
It's All I Can Do cover.jpg
Single by The Cars
from the album Candy-O
  • "Got a Lot on My Head"
  • "Candy-O" (UK)
ReleasedSeptember 25, 1979 (1979-09-25)
GenreNew wave, pop rock
LabelElektra 46546
Songwriter(s)Ric Ocasek
Producer(s)Roy Thomas Baker
The Cars singles chronology
"Let's Go"
"It's All I Can Do"
"Double Life"
Candy-O track listing
11 tracks
Side one
  1. "Let's Go"
  2. "Since I Held You"
  3. "It's All I Can Do"
  4. "Double Life"
  5. "Shoo Be Doo"
  6. "Candy-O"
Side two
  1. "Night Spots"
  2. "You Can't Hold on Too Long"
  3. "Lust for Kicks"
  4. "Got a Lot on My Head"
  5. "Dangerous Type"

"It's All I Can Do" is a song by the American rock band the Cars. It is the third track from their 1979 album Candy-O. It was written by the band's leader and songwriter Ric Ocasek, and features bassist Benjamin Orr on vocals.

Sound and genre[edit]

"It's All I Can Do" is a new wave influenced pop rock song.[1] According to Brett Milano, writer of the Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology album notes "'It's All I Can Do' was an affecting, straight-ahead piece of romantic pop, give or take a line like 'When I was crazy, I thought you were great.'"[2] The track was described as "gentle" by AllMusic reviewer Greg Prato, while Hamish Champ, writer of The 100 Best-Selling Albums of the 70s called the song "laidback".[3]

The bass lines and the G major guitar riffs have a major rock feel, but the song is softened down with Benjamin Orr's vocals and Greg Hawkes keyboard and synth lines.


"It's All I Can Do" was released as the follow-up to the "Let's Go" single on September 25, 1979, backed with "Got a Lot on My Head" in the U.S. and Canada, and with "Candy-O" in Britain. Although the song did not reach the Top 20 standard of its predecessor, it reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4] A third and final single from Candy-O, "Double Life", failed to chart.


"It's All I Can Do" has generally received positive reception from critics. Prato said that "'It's All I Can Do' ... deserved to be a hit," while Champ said the track (as well as its predecessor, "Let's Go,") "give ample evidence of the band's range."[3] William Ruhlmann, author of The All-Music Guide to Rock, said "'It's All I Can Do' hit as well [as 'Let's Go']", and in the Billboard review of Candy-O, the song was chosen as one of the "best cuts".[3] In a negative review, Tom Carson of Rolling Stone said, "'It's All I Can Do' calculatedly recycles the 'Just What I Needed' hook but to less-telling effect. It's simply cold."[3]


The B-side of "It's All I Can Do" is "Got a Lot on My Head", another track from Candy-O. In a review of Candy-O, AllMusic reviewer Greg Prato says the band "rocks out on 'Got a Lot on My Head' and 'Night Spots'".[5]

Other appearances[edit]


Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Milano, Brett (1995). Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology (Media notes). The Cars. Rhino Records.
  3. ^ a b c d "Candy-O album reviews". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  4. ^ "The Cars: Charts & Awards: Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  5. ^ Prato, Greg. "The Cars: Candy-O". Allmusic. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Cars: It's All I Can Do". allmusic. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "A Tribute to the Cars: Substitution Mass Confusion - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 2005-02-08. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  8. ^ "The Cars - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.

External links[edit]