Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders
This Friday, we’ll feature the music of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders on Feature Artist Friday.
The 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). Following the drug-related deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band experienced numerous subsequent personnel changes. Hynde has been the band’s only consistent member.
The Pretenders’ hit songs include “Brass in Pocket” (1979), “Talk of the Town” (1980), “Message of Love” (1981), “Back on the Chain Gang” (1982), “Middle of the Road” (1983), “2000 Miles” (1984), “Don’t Get Me Wrong” (1986), “My Baby” (1986), and “I’ll Stand by You” (1994). The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hynde, originally from Akron, Ohio, moved to London in 1973, working at the weekly music paper NME and at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s clothes store. She was involved with early versions of the Clash and the Damned and played in short-lived bands such as Masters of the Backside (1976) and the Moors Murderers (1978 lineup). The Pretenders formed in 1978 after Dave Hill at Anchor Records heard some demos of Hynde’s music. He arranged a rehearsal studio in Denmark Street, where a three-piece band consisting of Hynde, Mal Hart on bass (he had played with Hynde and Steve Strange in the Moors Murderers), and Phil Taylor of Motörhead on drums played a selection of Hynde’s original songs. Dave Hill was impressed and arranged a day at Studio 51 to record another demo. Although it was rough, he felt he had seen and heard enough “star potential” to suggest that Hynde form a more permanent band to record for his new label, Real Records. Hynde then formed a band composed of Pete Farndon on bass, James Honeyman-Scott on guitar, and Gerry Mcilduff on drums. This band, then without a name, recorded five tracks at Regents Park Studio in July 1978, including “Stop Your Sobbing”. Shortly thereafter, Gerry Mcilduff was replaced on drums by Martin Chambers. Hynde named the band “The Pretenders” after the Platters song “The Great Pretender”, which was the favorite song of one of her former boyfriends
The Pretenders released their most recent album, Alone, on 21 October 2016. However, as on “Packed,” Hynde was the only Pretender on the album, which was otherwise played entirely by session musicians. Hynde released a “solo” album with The Valve Bone Woe Ensemble on September 6, 2019.
Listen at the top of every hour for your favorites from Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders on Feature Artist Friday!