I don’t know what it is about this album, but
some people feel it’s among Elton’s worst.
As for me, I really enjoy hearing Elton move out in some
different directions with his music, even if he's not
entirely successful. I think if you stay open minded,
you might just find some real gems on this album. On
the other hand, maybe I’m just too hardcore of
a fan to be all that critical.
Candy is a soul tune. One of the problems here, and
let’s be honest, Elton doesn’t have a great
soul voice. And even though he's occasionally cracked
R&B charts, he really doesn't have much credibility
in this genre. In the hands of Hall & Oates or
someone else with a soul reputation, who knows? Maybe
this song could have been a hit.
From the structural standpoint, Candy doesn't have
a chorus section. This might be part of what throws
off Elton fans even though its a fairly common approach
to songwriting. Rather than having a chorus which states
the song's title, each verse ends with the song's title.
The B-section in this song is a bridge since it is
a complete contrast to the verses rather than a climactic
conclusion of them. Again, the lines of the bridge
end with the title.
I don't comment much on lyrics, but these are not
Bernie at his best and probably another turn off for
fans. They start off as an expression of feeling good
since his new girl friend came around. Later on they
take more of a nasty turn with lines like "with
you underneath" and the old girl friend "screamin
murder, beatin my door down." HUH? What are you
thinkin about Bernie?
What I do love about this song is the horns, and this
horn arrangement is HOT, HOT, HOT! Elton only occasionally
features a strong horn section and that makes this
one special. A 5-piece section is at work here: 2 trumpets,
2 saxes and a t-bone. And they don't just repeat their
licks each time through a verse or chorus; they add
new layers, they shift emphasis between instruments,
they modify a passage. It’s great work and damn
tough to replicate in midi. (I spent a few months agonizing
over this midi, before I finally gave up.
The tune is in G and fairly straightforward harmonically.
One interesting note is that most of the song is in
swing time (or triplet eighths) but the bridge switches
into straight time (duplet eighths).
The backup vocals are also interesting. I had a tough
time with those also, but I think this midi captures
the spirit of the song even if some parts aren't entirely
I haven't prepared a score for this tune. Elton plays
the electric piano on it and I could not really hear
a left hand part. The following example shows the intro
with a one-handed keyboard part and a walking bass
Here's one of the great horn riffs that I loved in
this song. With midi, and the poor quality of the sounds
that most people have on their computers, you have
to double up some of the voicings to get a fuller sound.
Another great horn riff.