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Editors’ Notes

Bridging the gap between New Wave and album-rock radio more than Elvis Costello and Talking Heads did in their day, the Cars were as knowingly plastic as a great bubble-gum single. Candy-O built on their hit debut, starting with an irresistible summer anthem ("Let's Go") before heading straight into angsty numbers that plumbed romance ("It's All I Can Do," "Since I Held You") with the baddest girl in the senior class ("Dangerous Type") as leader Ric Ocasek played out his avant-garde obsessions on back-seat speakers ("Shoo Be Doo"). All this was again coated with Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker's can't-miss sheen, making for an even bigger seller than The Cars. They'd spend the rest of their career dancing around the line between pop and (somewhat safe) experimentation, but Candy-O is where they perfected those moves.

Customer Reviews

New Wave Opera

Yes, the first album is a classic, but so is this one, and in a world of 'sophomore slumps', that's a minor miracle. "New Wave" rock music was typically shot at the listener in 3-minute clumps, as is largely the case here, but these songs are obviously (to me, in high school) all written about one girl. It doesn't take long for the lyrics to take on a desperate tone - it develops like a doomed relationship. In terms of cohesiveness, this is their best album. The first one is a bunch of great singles, this one is an opera. Did I mention it rocks?


I still get chills thinking about the chills I got when I first heard Let's Go on the radio back in 1979. I wore the debut out and, even though I was only 11, Candy-O became an obsession. In fact, in my opinion, it outshadows it's genius predecessor. It's darker, it's lighter, it's poppier, it's HEAVIER, and it's as if they were waiting to get to Candy-O. It was perfectly produced and the performances are astounding. Ric's vampire baritone and Ben Orr's sweet soul perfectly balance the album vocally. Gregory Hawkes, now even more prominent in his role as the geeky "Devoid" and Elliot Easton taking Ocasek's pop structures to dizzying heights with his brilliant solo compositions. David Robinson holding it all together rhymically. Candy-O is in my top 10 albums of all time and the Vargas painting on the cover has nothing to do with it :)

Almost 30 Years Since It's Release...

The Cars self titled debut changed what I listened to until this day - but Candy-O is truly one of the classic albums of the last 50 years. Roy Thomas Baker's production is still amazing to this day...Listen to Candy-O in a quality circa 2009 car sound system and you'll know what I mean. Even the order of the songs on the album is great..."Double Life" with the "Shoo Be Doo" segway to "Candy-O" and one of The Cars best ever tunes "Dangerous Type"to close it out. I saw The Cars LIVE on the Candy-O tour in Spring of 1980 and it was truly a memorable show...One of the "game changer" bands like Talking Heads or Nirvana...Awesome!


Formed: 1976 in Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

Blondie may have had a string of number one hits and Talking Heads may have won the hearts of the critics, but the Cars were the most successful American new wave band to emerge in the late '70s. With its sleek, mechanical pop/rock, the band racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles that made it one of the most popular American rock & roll bands of the late '70s and early '80s. While they were more commercially oriented than their New York peers, the Cars were nevertheless inspired...
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