Released today in 1986: Candyman

Wonderland SHE10

Wonderland SHE10

Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode was reviewing the singles for Smash Hits at the end of February 1986, and he made Candyman by Siouxsie and The Banshees ‘single of the fortnight’: “This is a great Banshees record. Obviously they’ve got a bit of a ‘formula’, but I like their sound. I used to go and see them quite a lot when I was younger, when I was a punk rocker.” He also said of Siouxsie’s voice, “She sings with a lot of sex – that’s what I like.”

A very appropriate vocal style as well given that sleeve, which left no doubt as to what maypoles are all about. Record Mirror’s review used 23 of its 49 words just to comment on that: “Grab a look at that cover. Did they get Paul King to model for it? Will Woolworths allow it into their chain stores?” Interviewed a couple of weeks later in the same magazine, Siouxsie acknowledged that “Some phallic symbol always seems to turn up…”

The song Candyman itself, Siouxsie explained, was “really to do with gown-ups’ abuse of children’s trust, whether it’s sexual or not, the innocence and dependency as well. I just find anything to do with that is repulsive. Pornography or people showing their boobs, that’s another thing, I’m not going to be puritanical about any of that because that’s all grown-ups.” Not everyone understood the lyrics. “Our manager thought it was about drugs,” Siouxsie said. “The candy man being the supplier or whatever. I suppose it can be translated as that, if you’re thinking about young people being used in that way.” She went on to point out that the same people who identified “a huge phallus on [the sleeve]” were “the same people who thought it was a druggy song. Freud would have a field day with those people!”

Nevertheless, as Dave Gahan rightly said, it was a great Banshees record. Siouxsie and crew had been working on their seventh studio album, from which the track was taken, since May 1985 and it was nearly ready for release. It was to be called Tinderbox “because everything seemed to happen either around situations or the effect of weather, and the word conjures up something explosive that’s to do with something combustible.”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Feb. 28
1983
The UNDERTONES Got To Have You Back (Ardeck ARDS12)
1986
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (Siouxsie Sioux) Candyman (Wonderland SHE10)

NEW SINGLES on sale from Feb. 29
1988
CLIMIE FISHER Love Changes (Everything) [Re-Issue] (EMI EM47)

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