On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
New Edition – Candy Girl (1982)
After saving a prayer with Duran Duran yesterday, we’re back on that plane and heading to the US and to Boston, Massachusetts for a spot of R&B. New Edition were formed in 1978 when the members were still children. They hit their peak of popularity in the 1980s and when we join the group in 1982 the members are aged just 14 and 15 but they’re about to have a breakthrough in the form of Candy Girl.
Candy Girl is intended and certainly sounds like a homage to The Jacksons, especially their classic hit, ABC. In the song, the members of New Edition take it in turns with the vocals and tell us all about a very special girl, the candy girl of the title. She is compared to candy itself, a treat for one to enjoy, but the song isn’t overly sexual before anyone goes hunting for euphemisms. This is more adolescent love for a girl with the dream-like scenarios and imaginings that come with being young and besotted with someone. Many of us have been there. Hearts skipping beats and being knocked off one’s feet. It’s a cute way of looking at love. Perhaps some of us never really grow up from such idealistic thoughts of love.
New Edition would not capture the same popularity as The Jacksons but Candy Girl still proved to be a successful track, landing the teenagers at the top of the UK charts. Being young, it sounds like the group were taken advantage of badly by managers and record executives, making little money at times. They went on hiatus in 1990 with members pursuing solo projects but reunited briefly in the late 1990s before reassembling once more in 2002. They may be older now but their love of the Candy Girl remains strong.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Police – Message in a Bottle (1979)
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)