Pretenders Rise Again

We featured a Pretenders album this morning that was several years coming for the band’s longtime leader Chrissie Hynde. Over the course of 1982-83, two charter members of the band died, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon(who’d exited the band previously). Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers added some new musicians and went on to record one of their best albums, Learning To Crawl, released in early 1984.

The sound of Learning To Crawl is more polished and a little less punk influenced but without losing the essential urgency that characterized the original band. Plus, the songs are very good, some of the best the band ever recorded(“Back On The Chain Gang”, “Middle Of The Road”). We listened to Side 2 this time; highlights included the familiar “Back On The Chain Gang, a great R&B cover, “Thin Line Between Love And Hate” and even a blue Christmas song, “2000 Miles”.