Hard Candy, Ned Doheny’s blue eyed soul opus, offers a lesson in everything going right for a record, yet still failing commercially. After his debut album failed to chart, Doheny teamed up with Average White Band’s Hamish Stewart in 1974 to write some songs. The resulting demos caught the attention of guitarist Steve Cropper (Booker T & the M.G.’s) who signed on to record Doheny’s next two albums.
Along with the aid of Cropper, the album features members of the California soft rock elite of the time: Linda Ronsdadt, JD Souther and members of the Eagles and Tower of Power all contribute to the smooth blend. The songs are breezy and bright, with a solid groove. Light funk bass and disco beats back Doheny’s soft acoustic rhythm guitar and distinctive voice.
Despite strong songwriting and star-studded sessions, Hard Candy bombed, became an obscurity and, later, a hard to find cult-classic commanding steep prices on the secondhand market. Now, courtesy Be With Records, this west coast AOR classic can be enjoyed on vinyl by a new generation of fans. Best enjoyed while driving down the Pacific Coast Highway or poolside with a frozen daiquiri.
– Cole Kinnear
A1 Get it Up for Love, B1 A Love of Your Own, B2 I’ve Got Your Number
Tags: AOR / Cult Classic / Funk / Soft Rock