Posts Tagged ‘The Pretenders’

Chrissie Hynde (L) and James Walbourne from The Pretenders on stage at OverOslo on June 21, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.

When Chrissie Hynde heard Bob Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul,” the 17-minute elegy he had recorded about John F. Kennedy and surprise-released in late March, she was caught by surprise. “It really knocked me sideways,” she says “It’s so magnificent.”

Like everyone, she was in what she describes as an “odd frame of mind” due to the pandemic-related lockdowns that had gone into effect a few weeks earlier. So with no outside distractions, the song teleported her back to her youth. “It brought back my whole childhood and my past,” she says. “I remembered exactly where I was sitting in the sixth grade at my desk when the news [of JFK’s assassination] came over the Tannoy [P.A.] system. Then I was thinking about Bob and how significant he’s been throughout my lifetime — and everyone’s lives. I’ve gone to see shows of his and there are grown men, older than me, standing up, like, in tears just because he’s there.”

I was so buoyed up by the new Dylan songs that I talked to Pretenders Guitar playing hot-shot James Walbourne and we decided it’s a good time to do those Dylan songs we’ve always talked about doing. Every singer-songwriter in the world covers the master’s songs and there is an endless supply of them. So we’ve started, and will do one a week until lockdown ends. The First one is off the “Shot of Love” album, “In The Summertime”. We did it from home on our phones. I did the rhythm – sent it to James, he added guitar , sent it back to me, I then put on the vocal , sent it back to him, he put on some back up vocals and organ, then we sent it to Tchad Blake to tidy up. I know you don’t need the behind the scenes details so I won’t repeat myself on the next one. xch

Hynde had planned on hitting the road this spring with the Pretenders, in support of their hard-hitting new album, Hate for Sale, but now she had an empty diary. She’d seen Dylan live a few times with the band’s lead guitarist, James Walbourne, and had remarked to him she would love to cover some Dylan songs.

Hynde and Walbourne released the first installment of what they dubbed their “Dylan Lockdown Series,” “In the Summertime.” Dylan’s version of the track, which appeared on his 1981 LP Shot of Love, was a mid-tempo, harmonica-soaked nostalgia piece. Hynde and Walbourne toughened it up a little with some forceful acoustic guitar, a lusher chorus, and an organ replacing some of the harmonica, as she hung onto his words to fit them to her voice. “I sent James a rhythm track on my phone, he added to it, and I put a vocal to it,” she says, explaining their quarantine-era methodology. “Then we sent it to [engineer] Tchad Blake, who is out in the wilds of Wales, to mix it. I love working with him.”

I was so buoyed up by the new Dylan songs that I talked to Pretenders Guitar playing hot-shot James Walbourne and we decided it’s a good time to do those Dylan songs we’ve always talked about doing. Every singer-songwriter in the world covers the master’s songs and there is an endless supply of them. So we’ve started, and will do one a week until lockdown ends. – chx

The third in the Dylan Lockdown Series: James & Chrissie’s reading of ‘Standing In The Doorway’ taken from the “Time Out Of Mind”, great album. After she was pleased with the finished product, she started picking more songs. They made Blood on the Tracks’ “You’re a Big Girl Now”sound a little more country and contemplative. They took the gospel-tingedTime Out of Mind number“Standing in the Doorway” and opened the windows on it, making it into something more uplifting. And they interpreted the gentle“Sweetheart Like You,”from Infidels— the album Dylan was touring on when Hynde joined him at Wembley — and made it sound sparse, with just guitar, piano, and Hynde’s voice.

The fourth in the Dylan lockdown series: Chrissie and James’ tender cover of Bob Dylan’s “Sweetheart Like You”

Number 5 of the Dylan Lockdown series: Chrissie and James’ cover of Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell “Blind Willie McTell” is a song titled after the Piedmont blues and ragtime singer / guitarist Blind Willie McTell. It was recorded in the spring of 1983, during the sessions for Dylan’s album Infidels, but was left off the album and officially released only in 1991 on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. “I just love always discovering new Dylan stuff and discovering old albums,” Walbourne says, on a break from learning the chords to the Infidels-era outtake “Blind Willie McTell” on the piano. “When I saw Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder doc on Netflix, I had no idea [Dylan] was that crazy during that time.”

CHRISSIE HYNDE & JAMES WALBOUNE – DYLAN LOCKDOWN SERIES NO.6: LOVE MINUS ZERO

Hynde and Walbourne uploaded the final entry in their Dylan Lockdown Series, their rendition of “Tomorrow Is a Long Time,” a quiet acoustic folk number that debuted on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2. Hynde and Walbourne kept it acoustic but made it more upbeat with organ and plinking cymbals, even when she sings, “If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time, then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all.” You can hear both her deference to Dylan and how the song is personal enough that she feels comfortable making it her own.

“Everyone goes back a long way with him because everyone has their own personal history [with his songs],” she says. “In his case, it’s very personal, because his songs are so personal. People who are fans of his really are fans. He’s not a lightweight; he’s a heavyweight. He’s been there for a longtime with us, so he’s seen us through many things, and we’ve seen him through.”

She pauses and considers just what it has meant to her to sing these songs. “It sounds like it’d be so easy, but first of all, you’re trying not to sing them the way you’ve heard them over the years because you get locked into that,” she says. “You can’t consciously sing them differently, so you just have to find your own thing. So it’s been an interesting and a fun thing to do. I’m very grateful to have the time to do this, because otherwise I’d be on a tour bus right now.”

she realized that now was the perfect time to pay tribute to a man who had inspired her for most of her life. She had grown up with Dylan’s music and has had the opportunity to pay tribute to him in the past — she joined him at Wembley Stadium for renditions of “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” in 1984, and she sang a stunning rendition of “I Shall Be Released” to him at his 1992 30th anniversary concert — but she has long wanted to do more. “Any singer-songwriter would like to do every Bob Dylan song they can get their hands on, and there’s thousands to choose from,” she says.

With a catalogue like Dylan’s, there’s so much there,” Hynde says. “I mean, I’m not one of these Dylan … … what do they call them … ‘Dylanologists’ to get on chat lines and discuss every lyric and everything. Although why not? But you know, I’m not into it from an academic, intellectual point of view. I wouldn’t take it in a college course. But if there’s songs I’ve lived through, such as when ‘Like A Rollin’ Stone’ and [similar songs] came on the radio back in the Sixties, they really changed the way songwriting was across the board. Probably even James Brown was affected by him; he started writing songs like ‘The Big Payback.’ And, I mean, Hendrix. Anyway, and so there’s this huge catalogue and you can dip in if you want.” She waits a beat. “And I want.”

That said, she admits that Dylanologists have been keeping her on her toes. “You don’t want to fuck up a Dylan song and have thousands of Dylanologists gunning for you,” she says. When she covered “Sweetheart Like You,” she struggled a little with how she wanted to sing some of Dylan’s words.

“These days, you don’t have to change the gender of a lyric because it doesn’t matter anymore,” Hynde says. “That was always a problem in the past, since sometimes it kind of compromises the song. Like if it didn’t sound right to change, ‘She loves me’ to ‘He loves me,’ let’s say. These days, you can do anything.

“But there was one second verse in ‘What’s a Sweetheart Like You’ that said, ‘She used to call me sweet daddy when I was only a child,’ and I thought ‘That’s gonna be really awkward,’” she continues. “I couldn’t figure out how to make that mine. So I went through the archives of different versions he’s done and found a Spanish translation that had a different verse, so I just used that one. I mean, he sang it in English, maybe it wasn’t the official, and then I thought, ‘Oh, these guys are gonna come after me now and say, “That’s not what he wrote.”‘ But it is what he wrote.”

pretenders, hate for sale cover art

Pretenders are pleased to announce brand new album ‘Hate For Sale’. Arriving July 17th 2020. Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG records. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The Pretenders’ latest single, “You Can’t Hurt a Fool” is a slinky and soulful ballad in which Chrissie Hynde sings about a woman commanding the room with diva like qualities. The timeless sounding track comes from the band’s brand-new album, Hate For Sale which was released on Friday 17th July. A nostalgic music video sets the scene with reflections of heroine’s dancing in the shiny silver chrome of a vintage ribbon microphone.

Hynde co-wrote all ten tracks on the new album with Pretenders’ guitarist, James Walbourne. “I wanted to write with [Walbourne] since day one,” Hynde said in a statement. “James is especially sought after and has recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Gahan and the Rails, to name but a few. We always planned on writing while on the road, but as anyone in a band will tell you, being on tour is a procrastinator’s dream come true.”

Let’s recap on the Pretenders videos we’ve been graced with these past few months. This month sees the release of Hate For SalePretenders’ 11th studio album. Despite arriving 40 years after the band’s captivating 1980 self-titled debut, Hate For Sale expertly aligns with the band’s original oeuvre: jangling guitars, confessional vocals and no nonsense rock punch. In fact, for fans who have been following since the early days, the Bo Diddley beat of new single “Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely” even harks back to 1980’s “Talk Of The Town” B-side, “Cuban Slide.” 

Hynde played with future Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh in Saturday Sunday Matinee in 1967 when she was 16. She told Melody Maker, “I was so shy that I wouldn’t stay in the same room as the band to sing. I’d take the mike into the laundry room and shut the door.” Hynde only played one gig with the band, a show at an Ohio church hall. More than 40 years later, she opened for Mothersbaugh’s band, Devo. Hynde was an art student at Ohio’s Kent State University when, on May 4th, 1970, the National Guard were called in to control Vietnam protesters on campus and shot dead four students, with nine more wounded. The shocking event was memorialised in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young track “Ohio,” which was recorded within three weeks of the incident and released a month later. “I heard the shots, I didn’t see the shooting,” Hynde recalled. “We all refused to leave and we were carried off campus.” In her autobiography,RecklessHynde wrote of her friend Jeff Miller, who had died in the shooting, “I knew Jeff Miller had been a fan of Neil Young, so I was happy that Young had become our spokesman, our voice.”‘

They’ve previously teased the record with singles “The Buzz” and “Hate for Sale,” which bring Hynde’s potent punk roots back to the surface. Check out the music videos, created in lockdown below. Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, who remains the only original member with Hynde in the 2020 Pretenders line-up, was recommended to Hynde,  Motörhead’s Lemmy. “Lemmy was very instrumental in my history,” Hynde told us “Without him the Pretenders wouldn’t have happened.”

Made entirely under UK Covid Lockdown, director John Minton takes the band’s basic iPhone footage and turns it into slices of celluloid greatness.

Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The official video for Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely by The Pretenders, from the new album ‘Hate For Sale’, out July 17th 2020.

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Following up 2016’s acclaimed Alone, “Hate For Sale” is the Pretender’s first album to be recorded with the now long-standing touring line-up of the group. Produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) Hate For Sale is the Pretenders’ eleventh studio album overall and the first to be written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne. “I wanted to write with him since day one,” says Chrissie. “James is especially sought after and has recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Gahan, and The Rails, to name but a few.” And on the single “The Buzz”, she adds, “I think we all know that love affairs can take on the characteristics of drug addiction. It’s about that.”

Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The official video for Hate for Sale by The Pretenders, from the new album ‘Hate For Sale’, out July 17th 2020.

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The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde and James Walbourne recorded an atmospheric version of Bob Dylan’s “Standing in the Doorway” for the latest installment of their “Dylan Lockdown Series.”. Chrissie Hynde is keeping busy during this pandemic. She’s a got a Lockdown Series of Bob Dylan covers she’s recorded with Pretenders guitarist James Walborne. This is all in anticipation of the new Pretenders record coming in July. Since I can listen to Chrissie sing the phone book, here are the three covers they’ve done so far.

Like the original version on 1997’s “Time Out of Mind”, the revamped take stretches out past seven minutes, with Hynde softly singing over airy piano, organ, electric guitar and distant percussion. They paired the song with a video full of vivid shots of farmland, train tracks and raindrops trickling down window panes.

“Thanks one more to Tchad Blake on mixing duties and the whole Blake family for the video,” Hynde wrote on Instagram of the release, the third in their series following “In the Summertime” and “You’re a Big Girl Now.”

The Dylan covers precede the Pretenders’ upcoming 11th studio LP, “Hate for Sale”, out July 17th. The album features the previously issued title-track, “You Can’t Hurt a Fool” and “The Buzz,” the latter of which they paired with a surreal video.

I was so buoyed up by the new Dylan songs that I talked to Pretenders Guitar playing hot-shot James Walbourne and we decided it’s a good time to do those Dylan songs we’ve always talked about doing. Every singer-songwriter in the world covers the master’s songs and there is an endless supply of them. So we’ve started, and will do one a week until lockdown ends.

The First was off the Shot of Love album, In The Summertime. We did it from home on our phones. I did the rhythm – sent it to James, he added guitar , sent it back to me, i put on the vocal , sent it back to him, he put on some back up vocals and organ, then we sent it to Tchad Blake to tidy up. I know you don’t need the behind the scenes details so I won’t repeat myself on the next one.

Hynde and Walbourne co-wrote all the songs on Hate for Sale, the Pretenders record in over 21 years to feature founding drummer Martin Chambers.

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Ray Davies’ well-documented thrall with the U.S. continued to deepen, even as it found new complexity on the 2017 U.K. Top 20 album Americana. He keeps digging here, picking at old scabs (including his scary encounter with a mugger in 2004) but also exploring the promise that this country still offers. Like most sequels, it’s not quite the equal of what came before. In fact, the album’s best lyric – “All life we work, but work is bore / If life’s for livin’, what’s livin’ for? – comes from a redo of a Kinks song from 1971. Still, that doesn’t speak so much to the relative quality of Our Country: Americana Act II as to a towering legacy that he has to wrestle with every day.

This is a demo version. The simplicity of the recording and the piano captures the feeling of being alone and in love so well. I Go to Sleep is a song written by Ray Davies. It was never recorded by the Kinks, but Ray Davies‘ demo is included as a bonus track on the reissue of their second studio album Kinda Kinks. “I Go to Sleep” was covered by The Pretenders and released as the fifth single from their second studio album Pretenders II. The song was later included on the Pretenders‘ compilation album The Singles. The song was also featured in the films Romanzo Criminale and Sweet Sixteen.

Unreleased song by Ray Davies/The Kinks from 1965

 

Image result for The PRETENDERS - " Brass In Pocket " sleeve

On November 12th, 1979 , The Pretenders released the single “Brass In Pocket”, BRASS IN POCKET stomped like a troupe of clog-dancers having a tantrum. Chrissie Hynde licked each word until it squealed — the way she berated the object of her lust, wailing that she’s “Special. So special”.

The term ‘sassy’ was invented for the Pretenders’ numbers like ‘Brass In Pocket’, Chrissie’s voice scraping like scuffed boots on the sidewalk of experience. It was one of those rare records that is both classic pop song and something that catches the imagination of the nation and won’t stay away.

Threatening with what she was going to use, ‘Brass In Pocket’ was a great way to remember winter 1979; Hynde’s studiously delivered warning, a probing beat underneath, an incongruous west coast laze with a dash of command.

The video here is rare archive footage of The Pretenders rehearsing ‘Brass In Pocket’ from 1979.

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The Pretenders first LP, simply titled “Pretenders” was released on this day in 1980. A combination of rock, punk and pop music, this album made the band famous. The album features the singles “Stop Your Sobbing”, “Kid” and “Brass in Pocket”.

Nick Lowe produced the Pretenders‘ first single, “Stop Your Sobbing”, but decided not to work with them again as he thought the band “wasn’t going anywhere”. Chris Thomas took over on the subsequent recording sessions.

Pretenders debuted at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart in the week of its release and stayed there for four consecutive weeks. Pretenders debut album has been named one of the best albums of all time . In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album number 155 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and, in 1989, ranked it the 20th best album of the 1980s. Happy 37th Birthday to The Pretenders album “Pretenders”!!!!

Pretenders was remastered and re-released in 2006 and included a bonus disc of demos, B-sides and live cuts, many previously unreleased. “Cuban Slide” and “Porcelain” originally appeared as B-sides to “Talk of the Town” and “Message of Love”, while “Swinging London” and “Nervous But Shy” both appeared on the flip side of “Brass in Pocket”. The Regents Park Demo of “Stop Your Sobbing” was included initially as a flexi-single in the May 1981 edition of Flexipop magazine. The tracks “Message of Love”, “Talk of the Town”, “Porcelain” and “Cuban Slide” alongside a live version of the album’s opening track, “Precious”, were released on a follow-up EP entitled Extended Play soon after.

The Pretenders

alone

Anyone hoping the combination of one-time Akron residents Dan Auerbach and Chrissy Hynde collaborating on the first Pretenders album in eight years that would result in a raw, rustbelt Black Keys meets Iggy Pop explosion, may be disappointed. That doesn’t make this ballad heavy set substandard, but it does seem like a missed opportunity.

First off, this is “the Pretenders” in name only; other than Hynde, no one on it has been or probably will be a Pretender. Even though the Nashville backing musicians are talented veterans (two on loan from Auerbach’s Arcs side project) and there are plenty of echoes of what Hynde created with the Pretenders, releasing the project under that name, as opposed to the solo album it was initially intended as, is somewhat misleading.

But for those who feel that anything Hynde records is going to have the Pretenders stamp, at least philosophically, this dozen song album finds her in fine, typically swaggering form. The few rockers such as the opening title track where she recounts the pleasures of being “Alone” with her usual brass-in-pocket sneer, along with the pounding “Mystery Achievement” drums of “Gotta Wait” and the bluesy “Chord Lord” make it clear Hynde hasn’t lost her sassy strut.

Still, it’s the ballads that dominate. While songs such as the lovely acoustic finger-picked “Blue Eyed Sky,” the heartfelt and reflective “The Man You Are” and the bittersweet piano lilt of “Death is Not Enough” with its surf twang guitar are beautifully crafted and sung with Hynde’s husky, immediately distinctive purr, perhaps a few more taut, tightrope walking, tough talking rockers would solidify the Auerbach connection. And the less said about the closing single “Holy Commotion” with its commercial leaning synths and chilly, overly stilted playing, the better.

Thankfully, the quality of “Roadie Man,” about … well, roadies, with its soulful and insistent groove, the dreamy “Let’s Get Lost” (perhaps the closest Hynde gets to a full throated love song here), and the pissed off, flinty “I Hate Myself” (“I hate my requisite phony destruction”) with its dark ’60s vibe that, as its title implies, takes a hard look in the mirror as the singer repeats the title about two dozen times, show Hynde has maintained her quality control. These songs glow and grow on you and, with vocals that were recorded in a quick 48 hours, maintain the edge the best Pretenders music always displayed.

Alone won’t go down as a great Pretenders disc up there with Learning to Crawl or the magnificent debut, but it’s no embarrassment either. Despite the lack of rockers, Hynde hasn’t mellowed even if her music has. OK, so there isn’t a cohesive Pretenders band anymore; over 35 years into her career, Chrisse Hynde remains a powerful and iconic presence. We should be thankful she’s still at it and recording music as impressive and distinctive as Alone.

The Pretenders

The Pretenders are back with a brand new album and teamed up with a fellow Akron musician to work on the record. The Pretenders have just announced a new album entitled Alone, their first since 2008’s Break Up The Concrete. Besides Chrissie Hynde, the album features bassist Dave Roe, pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl, guitarist Kenny Vaughan, keyboardist Leon Michels, and drummer Richard Swift, and it was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. who helmed the sessions from his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville. According to the press release announcing the LP, Hynde ended up tracking all the vocals for the album in a single 48-hour span.That’s the artwork above, and it’ll be out 10/21 ia BMG. The band also recently announced a North American support tour with Stevie Nicks 

Due in stores October. 21st, Alone is available to fans who purchase their copies early will receive a free download of “Holy Commotion!” now. The track, which you can hear above, may come as a surprise to fans who expected Auerbach’s influence to amp up the Pretenders’ blues quotient; instead, it presents an altogether poppier side of Hynde’s sound, with lyrics describing an urge to “see the light” and adding, “I just want, I want, I want to dance all night/ So be my baby.”

Chrissie Hynde and company recruited Dan Auerbach to produce The Pretenders latest record Alone. The album isn’t due out until October 21st,

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The Pretenders. regarded as one of the best debut albums ever recorded, Pretenders was chocked full of moxie and attitude. As a part of the second British Invasion, they joined artists such as Elvis Costello, The Clash and Joe Jackson in redefining music in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The band punches us in the stomach with the punk-inspired track “Precious,” but that was just the beginning of the thrashing as “The Wait” and “Tattooed Love Boys” added fuel to the fire. They did go soft on us with the Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Lovers of Today” and “Kid.” They even managed to get a pop song on the radio with “Brass in Pocket.” Chrissie and company have churned out several albums since their debut and have had some hits, but this recording remains to be the band’s best.

Pretenders

Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England, in March 1978. The original band comprised initiator 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). Following the drug-related deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band has experienced numerous subsequent personnel changes, with Chrissie Hynde as the only consistent member, and Chambers returning after an absence of several years.Their self-titled debut album was released at the end of December 1979 and was a success in the United Kingdom and the United States Pretenders was subsequently named one of the best albums of all time by Rolling Stone,