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A new milestone for Pretenders

In January 1980, Chrissie Hynde’s band released their first album.

By Marc Zisman | Video of the Day | January 19, 2020

Classic and classy, just like its cover. With their eponymous debut album released in January 1980 (only four decades ago!), The Pretenders were alone in their field. At the time, punk, new wave and synth-pop reigned supreme in the UK, but Chrissie Hynde and her band didn’t care. They were all about one thing: rock’n’roll, plain and simple.

The American’s beguiling voice played a major role in the success of this markedly successful debut, now available in 24-Bit Hi-Res quality, as did James Honeyman-Scott’s aggressive guitars (he died of an overdose only two years later at the age of 25), which created a whole range of effects, riffs and sounds without any nonsense.

Their influences for their debut album ranged as wide as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks (whose Stop Your Sobbing they cover on the record), Television, The Who, Elvis Costello and The Beatles and it was produced by Chris Thomas (the man behind Never Mind the Bollocks by The Sex Pistols). There are different themes on Pretenders, from the straight up rock’n’roll (Precious), quirky (Phone Call), playful and vintage (Tattooed Love Boys), sensual (Lovers of Today) and even reggae (Private Life). Brass in Pocket, a pleasingly teasing ballad, carried this impeccable Pretenders to the top of the charts. Timeless.


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