The Cars: Candy-O (Rhino High Fidelity) (Rhino) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Cars

Candy-O (Rhino High Fidelity)


Apr 01, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

When one thinks of bands that should have their catalogs reissued in high fidelity audio, ‘80s hitmakers The Cars might not be at the top of one’s list. However, as Rhino’s reissue progression through the band’s catalog attests, this would be a dramatic oversight.

Candy-O is the band’s sophomore album, released in 1979, one year after the incendiary self-titled debut with its slew of hits (“Good Times Roll,” “Just What I Needed,” and “You’re All I Got Tonight” to name just three). While not boasting as healthy a spate of hits, Candy-O found the band continuing what it did best and expanding its territory with a variety of songs that did not hit the big time, such as the multi-textured, robotic “Night Spots,” and the skittering title track. The hits are still present, with “Let’s Go” and “It’s All I Can Do” both gracing the charts, and “Dangerous Type” asserting itself as a modern classic after the fact. But unlike the band’s debut, Candy-O wasn’t defined by its pop hits. Instead, it proved itself for everything else.

What’s special about this reissue is the sound. The level of detail you can hear in the tunes, the separation in the speakers, and the overall clarity here is nothing less than astounding. The drums on “Let’s Go” sound like they’re in the room with you, the hand-clapping right in your ear. The guitars on “Since I Held You” absolutely sear. And the keyboards pop throughout. Each track is a sonic delight. You’ve likely never listened this attentively to The Cars, but with this reissue you’ll keep inching the volume up for all the specifics you likely missed the first time around.

Add in the heavyweight gatefold jacket and a liner note interview with producer Roy Thomas Baker, and what you have is nothing less than the essential pressing of this classic album. (

Author rating: 9/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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