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"Candy-O" (Ric Ocasek says the 'O' stands for 'obnoxious') was The Cars' second album and started them on tour for the first time as headliners.
This time, the record was made in California and took twice as long to produce. Though they released three singles, the first, "Let's Go" is the most well-known. And although it's not considered an official video, a clip of The Cars performing "Let's Go" with some visual effects edited in. The singles that followed were "It's All I Can Do" and "Double Life." With this album, the sound of The Cars' music became more defined as the backing vocals were noticable as Ric's and Ben's lead vocals. More electronic were used on this album and would continue on into the next one. The sound effects also seemed to be more put together than they were on the first album. The visual design was also better than the first with David Robinson talking famed artist Alberto Vargas out of retirement to paint the album's cover. Coincidently, the lady was a real model named Candy Moore The original photo was done at a Ferrari dealership in Beverly Hills and Vargas' painting that was made into the cover caused the album. Candy and David Robinson even dated briefly. "Candy-O" received many positive reviews which seemed to outnumber the negative ones as well as created a large line of corresponding collectibles.
But critics didn't seem to like the Cars on tour, but that made no difference to the audiences, who's opinions really mattered to the band. Fans didn't seem to mind the somber image The Cars presented in concert that was carried over from the previous year. Usually touring with The Cars as their opening act, was the New York duo, Suicide (Alan Vega and Martin Rev), whom Ric Ocasek had worked with, producing their material. Ric had discovered the band, as well as being the member of the Cars who really wanted them there. They were obviously not as well-liked as the Cars. "Everybody gets violently angry at Suicide, which is the reaction they intend to get. The point is to express hatred without feeling guilty about it - to be loose without feeling angry." Some Cars fans as well as stadium owners reacted exactly like that to Suicide's performances. Luckily, it didn't seem to affect the Cars' popularity.
The Cars were also beginning to make more and more appearences on television including "Midnight Special" (where they chose the acts, namely M, which was the only other group shown on VH-1's edited version of the episode) and "Rock Goes to College" (a show from the U.K.)
During the release of "Candy-O," three songs were left out of the album for various reasons. "Slipaway" (a shallow anti-love song) was supposed to be on the album, but left off when it was recorded by Ian Lloyd with Ric and Ben singing backup. But the original Cars version is now available on their new anthology. "That's It" was not a new release on the anthology, but was just as rare since it could only be found on the B-side of "Let's Go." But perhaps the most interesting song that never was, was an early version of the album's "Nightspots." Nothing like it's more electronic-sounding album version, lyrically and musically, this early outtake created a totally different atmosphere with low-key background music and vocals that seemed to fit more with the original lyrics. This is also now a part of the anthology.
|Heartbeat City - A Site About The Cars|
Music & Video:
Cars Discography & Lyrics
'Let's Go': The Cars Webring