Classic guitar albums of 1979: The Cars' Candy-O

(Image credit: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns/Getty Images)


This sophomore release by the Cars is probably best known for its hit single - “Let’s Go” - and its retro pin-up-girl cover art by a true master of the genre, Alberto Vargas. The band had employed Roy Thomas Baker on production duties again, not wanting to mess with a winning formula. Apparently starting from scratch with a blank canvas, rather than using songs already stockpiled, the runaway success of the band’s debut album actually slowed down the release of this follow-up, as it was still sitting on the album charts. Much like the Heartbreakers, the Cars were able to straddle the new wave and classic rock genres without alienating fans of either. They sported the proto-new-wave skinny-tie look and enjoyed the chops of guitarist Elliot Easton, an axeman of formidable prowess who was always able to bring memorability and melodic invention to his solos and riffs.

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Mark McStea

Mark is a freelance writer with particular expertise in the fields of ‘70s glam, punk, rockabilly and classic ‘50s rock and roll. He sings and plays guitar in his own musical project, Star Studded Sham, which has been described as sounding like the hits of T. Rex and Slade as played by Johnny Thunders. He had several indie hits with his band, Private Sector and has worked with a host of UK punk luminaries. Mark also presents themed radio shows for Generating Steam Heat. He has just completed his first novel, The Bulletproof Truth, and is currently working on the sequel.