UNDERNEATH THE COVERS: THE CARS "CANDY-O"
This iconic album cover should be pretty familiar to both male and female music fans—though men may have “studied” it more. It’s included in any “classic album covers” list or book out there—and deservedly so. Note to collectors: Early editions of the LP were issued without any title or words on the cover -- the group's name and album title were added in later pressings.
The Cars “Candy-O” cover was painted by artist Alberto Vargas, famous for his paintings of pin-up girls that appeared frequently in Esquire and Playboy magazines from the 1940s to 60s. Vinyl album cover art has actually been fertile territory for dozens of acclaimed artists, including Salvador Dali and Norman Rockwell—to be discussed in later "Underneath The Covers" postings here.
The idea to hire Vargas allegedly came from Cars drummer David Robinson, also a collector of pin-ups. The painting was actually based on a photo shoot directed by Robinson at a Ferrari dealership. Actress Candy Moore was the model, notable in the 60’s for having played Lucille Ball’s onscreen TV daughter on The Lucy Show.
Immediately following the buzz created by Candy-O, Ms. Moore was cast as “Linda,” a bit part in the Scorsese-De Niro boxing classic Raging Bull. But the rest of Candy’s acting career didn’t go so well, as she moved on from working with Martin Scorcese to a co-starring role as a bikini beach body builder in 1981’s low budget flop “Lunch Wagon.” The best that can be said about the mindless “Lunch Wagon” is that it seemed to lay some ground toward a Baywatch TV series 6 years later. But that’s perhaps overly kind.
|The "real life" Candy-O, circa 1981|