‘I Want Candy’ by Bow Wow Wow
By 1965, songwriters and producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer had already penned hits for other artists (like the Angels’ ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’). But when they wrote ‘I Want Candy’ along with Bert Berns, the trio decided to record it themselves as the Strangeloves — nearly 20 years before it became a new wave phenomenon for Bow Wow Wow.
Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer used their real names on the writing credits, but they gave the Strangeloves a personality of their own. The group claimed to be Australian brothers and ex-sheep farmers named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange, and the guys donned shaggy wigs and weird clothes for photos. The stunt worked — ‘I Want Candy’ made it all the way to No. 11 on the US charts in 1965.
The song has been covered scores of times since, most memorably by Bow Wow Wow in 1982. While their version didn’t even crack the Top 50 in the U.S., MTV kept the colorful video in heavy rotation in the early ’80s, which helped it become a new wave classic. It’s since popped up on several compilations and on almost a dozen soundtracks for movies like ‘Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion’ and ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’
Listen to Bow Wow Wow’s Version of ‘I Want Candy’
Listen to the Strangeloves’ Version of ‘I Want Candy’