Girish Mahajan (Editor)

I Want Candy

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1965 (U.S.)


The Strangeloves



Bert Berns Bob Feldman Jerry Goldstein Richard Gottehrer

"I Want Candy" is a song written and originally recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 that reached No. 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.


Original version

"I Want Candy" was written by Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer in 1965. As writer/producers, Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer had already scored big hits for other artists, including "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels. For this song, the trio took on the moniker of the Strangeloves, and recorded the tune themselves, augmented by studio musicians (co-writer Berns was not involved in the studio recording).

The female vocalist heard half-screaming, half-singing "Baby!" in the middle of the track was an unknown session singer.

Although Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer used their real names in the writing and production credits of this single, they claimed the Strangeloves were actually three Australian brothers (and ex-sheep farmers) named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange. Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer dressed up in shaggy wigs and exotic clothing for publicity photos as the Strangeloves.

"I Want Candy", the Strangeloves' second single, became a top 10 hit in Canada and hit No. 11 in the US. The record failed to chart in the UK—or in the Strangeloves' so-called "native" country, Australia.

Bow Wow Wow version

English new wave group Bow Wow Wow released their version as the first and only single from their EP The Last of the Mohicans. For many in America, "I Want Candy" was their first introduction to young lead singer Annabella Lwin and the band. The song barely scraped the Top 50, but became an enduring new wave classic. The song gave its name to the band's 1982 release, I Want Candy, which was mainly a compilation, but included a couple of new cuts produced by Kenny Laguna (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts).

The popularity of Bow Wow Wow's recording, highly associated with 1980s pop music, is partly due to the memorable video that got heavy play in the early days of MTV.

The Bow Wow Wow recording appeared on two VH1 countdowns:

  • No. 86 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the '80s"
  • No. 8 on VH1's "100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the '80s"
  • Bow Wow Wow's recording is frequently included in collections of '80s pop music and on soundtracks for movies that take place in the '80s, as well as in movies that want to make use of the recording's youthful, carefree tone. The recording appeared on the soundtracks for Blank Check, Private School, Bio-Dome, Daddy Day Care, 200 Cigarettes, High Fidelity, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Napoleon Dynamite and (in the form of a remix by Kevin Shields) Marie Antoinette. It also appeared in The Simpsons episode "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".

    The song was set to appear on the PlayStation 2 video game Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s, but was pulled out of the game for unknown reasons.

    The popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after an '80s hit song, named an episode after this song.

    The Black Eyed Peas sampled the song for the song "Electric City" on their 2009 album The E.N.D.

    Aaron Carter version

    Aaron Carter released a cover of "I Want Candy" as his seventh overall single, and the second single from his second album, Aaron's Party (Come Get It) (2000).

    This version of "I Want Candy" begins with a phone conversation with a friend about a girl named Candy and features the participation of his brother Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. Carter promoted it by performing it on the show Lizzie McGuire. A music video was produced to promote the single, directed by Andrew MacNaughtan.

    Track listings


    1. "I Want Candy" (album version) – 3:13
    2. "I Want Candy" (instrumental) – 3:13

    Maxi CD

    1. "I Want Candy" (album version) – 3:13
    2. "I Want Candy" (instrumental) – 3:13
    3. "Jump Jump" – 2:39

    Candy Girls featuring Valerie Malcolm version

    Candy Girls, consisting of Rachel Auburn and Paul Masterson, released a cover of "I Want Candy", which became their third hit single in 1996, peaking at No. 30 in the UK. It was their last release. After releasing this single, the duo split. Masterson went on to have hits as Amen! UK, Clergy, Yomanda, Dorothy and Hi-Gate.

    Track listings

    Disc 1

    1. I Want Candy (Radio Edit)
    2. I Want Candy (12" Mix)
    3. I Want Candy (Candy's Disco Dub)
    4. I Want Candy (Jon the Dentist's Mix)
    5. I Want Candy (Beat Barons Mix)

    Disc 2

    1. I Want Candy (Radio Edit)
    2. Wham Bam
    3. Fee Fi Fo Fum

    Melanie C version

    "I Want Candy" was the second single to be taken from Melanie C's fourth album This Time, in the UK, Denmark and Italy. The song was also the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, and the video featured Melanie dancing for the first time since the Spice Girls. Melanie split her time between the UK and Europe, where she was promoting "The Moment You Believe", and as a result, the single was not heavily promoted and reached No. 24 — although on the physical chart, the single reached No. 7. "I Want Candy" went on to sell 12,510 copies in the UK, but had better success in Italy (No. 9) and Denmark (No. 12).

    Melanie premiered her version of the song during Al Murray's Happy Hour on ITV1 on 24 February 2007. The video was premiered on 2 March 2007 in the UK. The song was released as Italy's and Denmark's first single from the new album, where it reached No. 9 in both countries, while in other European countries, the ballad "The Moment You Believe" was chosen.

    Music video

    In the video for "I Want Candy", Melanie C is featured in a skin-tight catsuit, featuring a sexually suggestive dance routine with half-naked bodybuilders in crowd-controller uniforms. The video instantly grabbed the No. 1 spot on YouTube with 200,000 hits in its first day.

    Formats and track listings

    These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "I Want Candy" by Melanie C.

  • UK 7" vinyl single
    1. "I Want Candy"
    2. "Already Gone"
  • UK Maxi CD single
    1. "I Want Candy" (Single Version) – 3:23
    2. "I Want Candy" (Club Junkies Mix) – 6:37
    3. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Electric Vocal Mix) – 5:16
    4. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Filtered Disco Dub) – 7:33
    5. "I Want Candy" (Music Video) – 3:22
  • Italian Maxi CD single
    1. "I Want Candy" (Single Version) – 3:23
    2. "I Want Candy" (Club Junkies Mix) – 6:37
    3. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Electric Vocal Mix) – 5:16
    4. "I Want Candy" (So-Lo's Filtered Disco Dub) – 7:33
    5. "Already Gone" – 4:12
    6. "I Want Candy" (Music Video) – 3:22

    Other cover versions

  • In the UK, the song first hit the UK Singles Chart in 1965, covered by Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, who took it to No 25. This version also peaked at No. 81 in Australia.
  • Parodies

  • In 2013, the experimental electronic group Matmos recorded a version titled "I Want Snowden" (in reference to the NSA leaker Edward Snowden) for The Onion's The A.V. Club.
  • References

    I Want Candy Wikipedia

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