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The Pretenders

Over the years, the Pretenders became a vehicle for guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde's songwriting, yet it was a full-fledged band when it was formed in the late '70s. With their initial records, the group crossed the bridge between punk/new wave and Top 40 pop more than any other band, recording a series of hard, spiky singles that were also melodic and immediately accessible. Hynde was an invigorating, sexy singer who bent the traditional male roles of rock & roll to her own liking, while guitarist James Honeyman-Scott created a sonic palette filled with suspended chords, effects pedals, and syncopated rhythms that proved remarkably influential over the next two decades. After Honeyman-Scott's death, the Pretenders became a more straightforward rock band, yet Hynde's semi-autobiographical songwriting and bracing determination meant that the group never became just another rock band, even when their music became smoother and more pop-oriented.

Originally from Akron, OH, Hynde moved to England in the early '70s, when she was in her twenties. British rock journalist Nick Kent helped her begin writing for New Musical Express; she wrote for the newspaper during the mid-'70s. She also worked in Malcolm McLaren's SEX boutique before she began performing. After playing with Chris Spedding, she joined Jack Rabbit; she quickly left the band and formed the Berk Brothers.

In 1978, Hynde formed the Pretenders, which eventually consisted of Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers. Later in the year, they recorded a version of Ray Davies' "Stop Your Sobbing" produced by Nick Lowe. The single made it into the British Top 40 in early 1979. "Kid" and "Brass in Pocket," the group's next two singles, also were successful. Their debut album, Pretenders, was released in early 1980 and eventually climbed to number one in the U.K. THe band were nearly as successful in America, with the album reaching the Top Ten and "Brass in Pocket" reaching number 14.

During an American tour in 1980, Hynde met Ray Davies and the two fell in love. Following a spring 1981 EP, Extended Play, the group released their second album, Pretenders II. Although it fared well on the charts, it repeated the musical ideas of their debut. In June of 1982, Pete Farndon was kicked out of the band, due to his drug abuse. A mere two days later on June 16, James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of an overdose of heroin and cocaine. Pregnant with Davies' child, Hynde went into seclusion following Honeyman-Scott's death. In 1983, two months after Hynde gave birth, Farndon also died of a drug overdose.

Hynde regrouped the Pretenders in February 1983, adding former Manfred Mann's Earth Band guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster; the reconstituted band released "2000 Miles" in time for Christmas. The new Pretenders released Learning to Crawl early in 1984 to positive reviews and commercial success. Ending her romance with Ray Davies, Hynde married Jim Kerr, the lead vocalist of Simple Minds, in May of 1984.

Apart from a performance at Live Aid, the only musical activity from the Pretenders during 1985 was Hynde's appearance on UB40's version of "I Got You Babe." Hynde assembled another version of the Pretenders for 1986's Get Close. Only she and McIntosh remained from Learning to Crawl; the rest of the album was recorded with session musicians. Get Close showed the Pretenders moving closer to MOR territory, with the bouncy single "Don't Get Me Wrong" making its way into the American Top Ten in 1987. Hynde recorded another duet with UB40 in 1988, a cover of Dusty Springfield's "Breakfast in Bed."

Hynde's marriage to Kerr fell apart in 1990, the same year the Pretenders released Packed!, which failed to ignite the charts in either America or Britain. She was relatively quiet for the next few years, re-emerging in 1994 with Last of the Independents, which was hailed as a comeback by some quarters of the press. The album did return the Pretenders to the Top 40 with the ballad "I'll Stand by You." In the fall of 1995, the Pretenders released the live album Isle of View, then remained silent for a few years. Hynde finally returned in 1999 with an album of new material, Viva el Amor. Three years later, the Pretenders left their longtime label for Artemis. The reggae-tinged Loose Screw appeared in November and a tour followed in January 2003. In March 2006, the Pretenders released their first-ever box set, Pirate Radio, via Rhino. The four-disc package included over five hours of music and a DVD of rare performances. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Pirate Radio

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5

Comments

Ohions Love the Pretenders.. . . lol
Such a great voice and performer. I wonder why she never made it as big solo as she did with the band. Even though she was The Pretenders.
And Now I'm Back On The Chain Gang, Again.....
edmoeduardo
Amazing
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't read this you will die in two days. Now that you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on five songs in the next 143 min. when your done press F6 an your lovers name will pop up on your screen in big letters. Trust me it works
This chick "Chrissie" does the worst rendition of "Creep" that I have ever heard. I've heard some crappy people thinking that they can be like Tom York but this is just godawful. I hope that my station never plays anything by "The Pretenders" ever again.
This is Chrissie's best song bar far!
Can not make a Pretenders station or U 2 ,Police ones because all the other 80's crap they think we want to hear !!
Great great band hynde's voice is so familiar by now it soothes
Never got to see them live...but I love me some Chrissie!
Chrissie rocks! Great song from a great band.
I'll stand by you
gusdlgarza
Yea
claricentp91 7
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
shawnnavuz71 1
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
Chrissie has one of the hottest voices ever!
gusdlgarza
Love Chrissie
My city was gone...the Pretenders had the best songs. Pure genius lyrically and Chrissies voice drop dead sexy.
1....2....3. . . . 4 . . . . 5



My fav classic Pretenders song. Never stop rocking Chrissie
Got one chance to see them. It was a concert in support of "learning to crawl" release. The drummer during "middle of the road" was spinning out drumsticks. Awesome concert! Was so close to Chrissy and the band. Middle 80's. Those were the days good times. Keep rocking Chrissy!
amy31562
Happy birthday Chrissie!
vic_dlg
Love this song
I love my fellow Akron girl!!! Pass by her old high school just about once a month, and I'll think of her. Fantastic voice!
vic_dlg
Love
cmyers3402
I'll Stand by You is one of the greatest Rock songs of all time. Her performances are always 100%
hodgdons7 I agree completely. I put her up there with Ann Wilson, although a different style. Such expression.
kvons1
Time The Avenger----- e v e r y t h i n g is on loan here-----YES IT IS!!!!!!!!!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by t
1. Say ur name
2. Make a wish
3. Say ur crushes name
4. Post this on 4 other songs
5. Ur crush will ask u out
hodgdons7
There's an oldie but goodie. I say Chrissie Hynde set a standard for female rock vocalists who came after.
My favorite!!! Thank u
Its over for me, peace light, tranquility and adore. I forgot delete this s**t. I need you to know what I have come to learn, I go now.
French historians observed, that those in heat, were to beat. Nobody cared. They did this when observing the Americas.
Where would you go, if you didn't want to infer or transfer knowledge or info. Where nobody cares, like the equator. We knew that long ago. I don't care anymore; but I do. To the catman. See, look, see, see, see, its like visions; interdiscipl i n a r y . The catman hacked into my profile, like the Russians stole my MO. I'm home. Now go get Jon Mack. Apparently, ummm..., Perkins kicks a**. I am a marketer. I am gay. LOL, not. But I'm out.
My song - love it - love it - love it. I'll stand by you Baby won't let nobody hurt you. That's me baby
Great voice, great band
That first LP was awesome! Too bad about JHScott & PFarndon. Too good....too young to die.
Not me baby, i'm too precious.... . f * * k off! You rock Chrissie! Loved watching you perform 'smelly cat' with Phoebe ;-)
Yes. Please do not torture any more listeners who've heard the original Creep, Pandora. Thanks.
kvons1
Decent group for their style of music and the times. Time the Avenger---on e of the better ones.
Chrissie's live version of 'Creep is ............ t i n g l y .
madmonkey419
Yay Chrissie And Crew! Loved their music since I was a kid... Rock on!!
there's only one Chrissie--sh e ' s great
Their cover of Creep sucks. Stop.
t_heath
What a tremendous group!!!!!!!
mollizelli
i think (there4,i am) Chrissie has 1 of the best voices(bar none) in all of the rock realm!the PRETENDERS didnt mince words, they came on hard & strong.they had a savy blen
stand by me chrissie...
I regret I didn't listen much to Pretenders or buy much of their stuff. I liked it, but didn't appreciate it as much as I do now that those days are long gone.They really were quite a unique band and still are.
OOOOOHHHHHH The Pretenders. So good. I have never seen them in concert but it's on my list.
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