Saturday, May 14, 2011

On my turntable: The Cars - Candy-O

Candy-O (1979)
We've all heard of the 'sophomore slump'.  In the dog-eat-band corporate music biz of the late 70's it was almost expected that  bands with hugely successful debut albums were destined to release a disappointing second album. Major labels were notorious for signing bands to two-album deals, with contractual renewal dependent upon the financial success of both albums.

For as rare as it is for a band to experience the success of The Cars' iconic first album, it's doubly uncommon for bands to follow-up with an even better second album.  I can't think of many bands that have done it, but with Candy-O (1979) The Cars managed to escape the dreaded ol' sophomore slump.
Sticker found on initial retail pressings

Candy-O's first single, "Let's Go" was the first Cars record I remember buying. It remains, in my opinion, one of the great 45's of all time -- made for radio and an unmistakable hit. I didn't actually buy the full Candy-O LP until a few years ago (I found a brand new copy for $2, original sticker intact), but in '79 I had my homemade cassette copy, taped from of a midnight airing on our local stoner radio station. 

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has a re-issue of Candy-O that is supposed to be coming out soon. Based on what I've read, the pressing (created from the original analog tapes) is stunning. It's also expensive (averaging around $30), but I'm almost tempted to buy one if I can find it cheaply enough. If there was a New Wave hall of fame Candy-O would be in it, plated in gold, secured under glass, surrounded by an invisible laser security system and three or four vicious attack dogs.


Anonymous said...

Good post, but "vicious," not "viscous."

Jeff said...

Thank you for the correction! Proper grammar is something I value highly.