Candy’s Room is one of the sexiest songs Springsteen has ever written. It has passion, power and pure lust. The buildup is absolutely gorgeous. Hand in hand with Max Weinberg’s driving beat of the drums, Springsteen uses his vocals to help create an atmosphere and in the beginning he almost talks the lyrics. His voice is restrained and controlled- a story is created:
“In Candy’s room there are pictures of her heroes on the wall, but to get to Candy’s room you gotta walk the darkness of Candy’s hall”
This should be read both literally and metaphorically. The darkness of Candy’s hall is, in fact, a hall that leads to her room. Candy is a young, pretty girl living at home. Her room has pictures of her heroes on the wall, probably movie posters or posters of singers, from her recent youth, but now she is growing up. Some say she is a prostitute and she might be, it’s hard to know. We learn that her current life is filled with suiters who would like to date her and they bring her things to try and convince her to go out with them.
The hall could also be seen as a metaphor for the girl’s emotional barriers, the process of growing up and the process of getting to know her. Apart from the darkness there is also a sadness in her face. It is the internal battle between innocence and freedom of youth that seems to be giving way to the realities of what she is going through and the hardship of the life ahead.
She has men who give her anything she wants but they don’t see that what she wants is me
The protagonist is an underdog. He is not as rich as her other suitors. He can’t give her fancy gifts, but he likes to think that she really prefers to be with him. He is a young naive boy, who is infatuated and obsessed almost. He wants to rescue her.
After “We kiss…” the song breaks loose. It’s powerful, adrenaline-fueled and it gets big very fast. Springsteen howls about a wild, blood-rushing desire and the guitar solo is huge, fussy and full of tension.
This song is about a much darker love relationship than Springsteen has described before. The female character seems to be interested but damaged and you wonder if this is a love that can’t happen. In the final verse there is an affirmation of what we already know; she has men who would bring her anything to be with her and though the singer can’t give her those things, he is convinced that all she wants is him and he will never let her go.
Candy’s Room was released on Bruce Springsteen’s fourth studio album Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978.