Bow Wow Wow are an English new wave band, created by manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980. McLaren recruited members of Adam and the Ants to form the band behind 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. They released their debut EP Your Cassette Pet in 1980. The band’s music was characterized by a danceable new wave sound that drew on a Burundi beat provided by Dave Barbarossa on drums, as well as the suggestive lyrics squealed into the mic by their teenage lead vocalist.
“I Want Candy” is a song written and originally recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 that reached No. 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.
English new wave group Bow Wow Wow released their version as the first and only single from their EP The Last of the Mohicans. For many in America, “I Want Candy” was their first introduction to young lead singer Annabella Lwin and the band. The song barely scraped the Top 50, but became an enduring new wave classic.
To capitalize on the success of the “I Want Candy” music video, RCA compiled an album called I Want Candy for their newfound American audience. The album peaked at No. 123 on the Billboard 200.
The Bow Wow Wow recording appeared on two VH1 countdowns:
No. 86 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s”
No. 8 on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s