Another Ten Songs You May Not Know Are Covers: I Want Candy (#5)
By Four Walls
September 16, 2017 7:39pm CST
I had a fun day today, and I'll tell you about it soon. Meanwhile, what I want to tell you about now is another one of those songs that gained popularity and turned out to be a cover. Here's today's controversial song. #5: I Want Candy So this guy-who-sings-like a girl, Aaron Carter, releases this song, "I Want Candy," in 1999. Eww. And all of us 80s people are going, "Wow, girl, er, boy, you're really butchering a song we loved in the 80s!" Malcolm McLaren, the guy who gave us the Sex Pistols, put the band Bow Wow Wow together out of former members of Adam and the Ants and found, according to Wikipedia, a 13-year-old girl working in a dry cleaners shop by the name of Annabella Lwin. McLaren managed the band through their biggest success, 1982's "I Want Candy," which got a lot of attention because of the controversy. What controversy? Oh, McLaren had this then-15-year-old on the cover of Bow Wow Wow's album naked. But even that isn't the beginning of the song. Thankfully, just the end of the controversy. The song goes back to 1965 and a band called the Strangeloves. No, it wasn't Peter Sellers and Slim Pickens singing "You Can't Argue In the War Room Blues," but a group of American songwriters who had a "studio band" of sorts. They had a hit with writing "My Boyfriend's Back" and produced a number of early 60s songs. (According to Picky Wedia, "Hang On Sloopy," by "the McCoys," is actually the Strangeloves' recording with an overdubbed guitar part by a youngster named Rick Derringer.) Musically, "I Want Candy" owes more than a little to Bo Diddley, but back then everyone wasn't sue-happy. "I Want Candy" wasn't the only contribution to the 80s that members of the Strangeloves made. Richard Gottehrer later co-founded Sire Records with Seymour Stein. Gottehrer produced early recordings by Blondie and Richard Hell and the Voidoids. And, on a personal note, he co-produced Marshall Crenshaw, which stands as my favorite debut album. Little teenybopper boys will come and go, but the legacy of the Strangeloves will remain, thanks to "I Want Candy." I Want Candy Written by Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer Originally recorded by the Strangeloves, 1965 Famously (and controversially) covered by Bow Wow Wow, 1982 Also covered by Aaron Carter, 1999 Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the music:
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Bow Wow Wow was more or less a one-hit wonder, and most of the attention they got was due to the controversy over Annabella's age. The Strangeloves were not a real "band," per se, just studio musicians and songwriters/producers. But they did have three charted top 40 hits.