Monday, October 20, 2014

"I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow

Song#:  1046
Date:  05/29/1982
Debut:  85
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  New Wave

Pop Bits:  Sex Pistol's manager, impresario Malcolm McLaren, was also managing Adam & the Ants. Seemingly always looking for the next promotion, McLaren convinced the Ants of leaving to form their own band. Obviously, McLaren would guide them, dress them in friend Vivienne Westwood's clothes, and court promotional controversy. McLaren's lengthy search for a lead singer lead to a 13-year-old discovered working in a dry cleaning shop. Burmese born Annabella Lwin was hired on and the band got signed to EMI. But after a dispute with the label, the band moved over to RCA. They scored their first major hit in the UK with "Go Wild in the Country" (#7). After two LPs, the band did a stop-gap EP called "The Last of the Mohicans" which featured this single. It would be their second UK Top 10 (#9) and their first to hit the US pop chart. While not wildly successful at the time of release, their version of the tune (see below) has turned into an 80s music staple and has been used in ads, TV shows, and films.

ReduxReview:  I thought this was a stupid song back then and I still do. However, now I see it as fun-stupid. The beat is infectious and the guitar licks are nicely done. I don't go out of my way to hear this song, but I ain't mad if it comes up on a playlist. My favorite version of the song is actually done by The Simpsons. On an episode where they do fictional pilot episodes for spin-offs of "The Simpsons," one is called "The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour." It plays like one of those really bad variety shows from the 70s and they break into this song. It's pretty classic.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of the original tune by The Strangeloves. Their 1965 Bo Diddley-beat inspired single reached #11 on the pop chart. The Strangeloves were a fictitious trio formed by a US songwriting/production team. Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer promoted themselves as The Strangeloves, three brothers from Australia - Giles, Miles, and Niles Strange. After "I Want Candy" became a hit, the trio had to actually form a band and tour. Before coming up with The Strangeloves, the trio had a major success when they wrote and produced the #1 song for The Angels, "My Boyfriend's Back" (1963).  2) McLaren and the group courted a major controversy with the cover to the group's second LP "See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy." The cover was a photographic recreation of the famous painting "The Luncheon on the Grass" by Manet. The paining features a nude woman sitting. In the photo recreation, Annabella Lwin portrayed the nude woman. She was 15 years old at the time the photo was taken. This caused Lwin's mother to make exploitation accusations which prompted an investigation by Scotland Yard. Besides some minor agreements regarding the photo and touring, nothing major came out of the investigation - well, except for all the promotion and attention it brought to McLaren and his group. The same photo would eventually be used for the "Last of the Mohicans" EP in the US.


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