Candy By The Pound
Ice on Fire
42 KB
46 KB
Studio Version
Key: G Structure: A-A-B-A-B

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 the 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 accurate.

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 line.

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.