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The Cars – Candy-O


Michael Fremer Rated 8/10 Music, 9/10 Sonics!

Numbered, Limited Edition! Half-Speed Mastered From Original Master Tapes !

The Cars’ 1979 sophomore album, now on Mobile Fidelity Half-speed mastered 180g vinyl, is a must-hear new-wave classic.


Since the Cars had created a perfect album with their 1978 self-titled debut, it would be nearly impossible to top it. Instead of laboring long and hard over a follow-up like many ’70s bands did after a huge commercial success, the band cranked out their sophomore effort, Candy-O, almost exactly one year later from the first LP.
Their second strong release in a row, Candy-O proved that the Cars were not one-hit wonders, like so many other bands from the same era.


How did the Cars move beyond their smash 1978 debut and secure their status as one of music’s leading bands for years to come? Look no further than the quadruple-platinum “Candy-O”. Continuing along the streamlined pop paths of its predecessor, the sophomore effort is preoccupied with desirable women that are as mysterious, sexy, and cool as the group’s music-and the record’s pin-up cover.


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The iconic Vargas cover represents its contents perfectly. Nostalgia re-modelled as forward-thinking modernism. As with the debut, Ric Ocasek continues as Boston’s cool, intellectual counterpoint to the NY trashy charm of Joey Ramone; both oddball frontmen packaging their love for 50s/60s popcraft in new, interesting and vital ways.

The differences between the debut and “Candy-O” are subtle, but telling. Despite the use of synths, “The Cars” was first and foremost a rock album, stuffed with big riffs and bigger choruses. “Candy-O” dials this down a bit. Everything is a little more refined and there’s added emphasis on synth textures and electronics. There’s definitely more influence from the new wave and post punk than before. Spot the nods to Suicide (“Shoo Be Doo”), DEVO (“Dangerous Type”) and Kraftwerk (“Double Life”).

There’s still a good dose of rock present for those wanting a continuation of their first album. Some nice fat riffs on the title track or its follow-up track “Night Spots”. Polishing of sound aside, the songwriting is solid throughout and while the highs are nowhere near as high as on “The Cars”, it’s top-tier from start to finish. Actually my only complaint is that David Robinson’s drumming isn’t as well utilized as before and there’s more electronic percussion than I prefer. It’s just missing some of the punch that made the debut so brilliant. Still a classic.

• Numbered, Limited Edition
• 180g Vinyl
• 1/2 Speed mastered from the original master tapes


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
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


Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm