Musical Monday: Pretenders

Again, I’ve seen today’s band in concert a number of times and they’re still going strong, or at least one of them still is!

Pretenders are an English–American rock band formed in March 1978. The original band consisted of founder and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Martin Chambers (drums, backing vocals, percussion). Hynde named the band “Pretenders” after the Platters song “The Great Pretender”, which was the favourite song of one of her former boyfriends.

The band’s first single, a cover of a Kinks song ) was released in January 1979 and gained critical attention. In January 1980, the band reached No. 1 in the UK with Brass in Pocket, which was also successful in the US, reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their self-titled debut album was released in January 1980 and was a success in the UK and the US both critically and commercially. It is regarded as one of the best debut albums of all time, and has been named one of the best albums of all time by music channel VH1 (no. 52) and Rolling Stone magazine.

After the drug-related demises of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band re-grouped making use of “guest” artists. In October 1982, the band released the single Back on the Chain Gang which was to be their biggest US success. 

Hynde then set up a more permanent lineup for the band, including Chambers, and a third album followed in 1984. But the band fell apart when Hyde dismissed Chambers and she was once more reliant on guest artists for subsequent albums and tours.

In March 2005, Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  During her acceptance speech, Hynde named and thanked all the replacement members of the group, then said:

“I know that the Pretenders have looked like a tribute band for the last 20 years. … And we’re paying tribute to James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we wouldn’t be here. And on the other hand, without us, they might have been here, but that’s the way it works in rock ‘n’ roll.”

The band released their 11th studio album Hate for Sale in  July 2020 but a five-month North American tour to promote the album was cancelled due to the pandemic.

22 Comments on “Musical Monday: Pretenders

  1. how awesome you have seen them a few times – 🙂
    and the back on the chain gang is a huge memory song for me – that was a top take away today 0 thanks Sheree

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Musical Monday: Pretenders – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

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