The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England, in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott, Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers.
Artist: The Pretenders
Label: Real Records
Catalog# SRK 3572
The success of the Pretenders’ debut album in 1980 created a great demand for more material from the fledgling band; however, a lack of songs precluded the quick release of a follow-up album. In the UK, the band released two hit singles in 1980 and early 1981: “Talk of the Town” and “Message of Love,” respectively. In the US, where standalone singles had become rare, these tracks were combined with three others for a stopgap EP release called Extended Play, in March 1981. Their second album, Pretenders II, was released a scant two months later, to mixed critical reception, partly because two of the better songs on the album had been previously released, and partly because many of the songs were viewed as overly-similar (though not quite as groundbreaking) to the band’s debut. Nevertheless, several of the album’s songs became hits and the album has increased in critical stature with time.
The album is notable for the inclusion of a cover of The Kinks’ “I Go to Sleep” (they had covered that band’s “Stop Your Sobbing” on their debut album, and band leader Chrissie Hynde would have a personal relationship with Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies), as well as the sexually-forward tunes “Bad Boys Get Spanked” and “The Adultress”. Perhaps the album’s most ambitious track, “Day After Day” spins a common second-album narrative of unaccustomed celebrity, with the band rushing from gig to gig, hotel to hotel, head-spun from the swiftness of it all. The song ends suddenly, mid-guitar-solo, with the sound of a crashing fighter plane. The song “Louie, Louie” is an original composition and not a version of identically titled and often covered song by Richard Berry.
The album would be the final release from the original line-up of the band, as shortly afterwards the band would be fractured by the drug abuse that would take the lives of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon, leading to a long recording hiatus.
1. The Adultress (3:58)
2. Bad Boys Get Spanked (4:07)
3. Message Of Love (3:28)
4. I Go To Sleep (2:57)
5. Birds Of Paradise (4:16)
6. Talk Of The Town (2:45)
1. Pack It Up (3:52)
2. Waste Not Want Not (3:46)
3. Day After Day (3:47)
4. Jealous Dogs (5:38)
5. The English Roses (4:31)
6. Louie Louie (3:29)
The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England, in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde James Honeyman-Scott, Pete Farndon and Martin Chambers. Following the drug-related deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band has experienced numerous subsequent personnel changes, with Hynde as the only consistent member, and Chambers returning after an absence of several years.
Title: Learning To Crawl
Label: WEA Records
Learning to Crawl is the Pretenders‘ third album, released in 1984, after a hiatus, during which time James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon died of drug overdoses.
After Farndon’s dismissal from the band and Honeyman-Scott’s death, Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers initially recruited Rockpile‘s Billy Bremner and Big Country‘s Tony Butler to fill in a caretaker line-up of the band in 1982. Bremner played guitar and Butler played bass on the band’s September 1982 single “Back on the Chain Gang/My City Was Gone”, both sides of which were later included on Learning to Crawl. As the album sessions got under way, Bremner, Graham Parker‘s bass player Andrew Bodnar, and Paul Carrack (formerly of Squeeze, Ace and Roxy Music) played guitar, bass and piano respectively for the track “Thin Line Between Love and Hate”.
Finally, Robbie McIntosh (guitar) and Malcolm Foster (bass) were recruited to join Hynde and Chambers, and the band was now officially a quartet. It was this line-up that recorded the rest of the tracks featured on Learning to Crawl.
The November 1983 single “2000 Miles/Fast or Slow (The Law’s the Law)” was the newly reconstituted foursome’s first release, followed shortly by the full Learning to Crawl album in January 1984.
The album’s title of “Learning to Crawl” was given in honor of Chrissie Hynde’s then-infant daughter, Natalie Rae Hynde. She was learning to crawl at the time that Chrissie was trying to determine a name for the album.
Hynde noted in the booklet for the expanded edition of “Learning to Crawl” that guitarist Robbie McIntosh came up with the opening guitar riff for “2000 Miles”. She stated that she probably should have credited McIntosh as co-writer of the song for providing the opening to the song.
“2000 Miles” became a popular Christmas song in the UK. Often interpreted as a tale of two lovers apart during the holidays, it is a song written by Hynde for her former bandmate James Honeyman-Scott after he died prior to beginning work on the band’s third album.
“My City Was Gone” is largely an autobiographical song written about the changes that she observed when she went back to her native city of Akron, Ohio. The song would later be adopted as the opening song to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh‘s radio show. Hynde would unsuccessfully attempt to get an injunction against Limbaugh’s use of the song, as she is opposed to his politics.
“Watching the Clothes” was an older song written before the band’s début album. Hynde was inspired to write the song after a close friend had died.
1. Middle Of The Road (4:08)
2. Back On The Chain Gang (3:44)
3. Time The Avenger (4:47)
4. Watching The Clothes (2:48)
5. Show Me (4:00)
1. Thumbelina (3:12)
2. My City Was Gone (5:14)
3. Thin Line Between Love And Hate (3:33)
4. I Hurt You (4:27)
5. 2000 Miles (3:30)