Single Mom, painter, singer, songwriter, activist: an anthology of one of the last great iconic Rock and Rollers. #IDW2019
Originally from the Midwestern industrial town of Akron, Ohio, home to the Goodyear Rubber Company, came a young woman who attended college at Kent State and eventually settled in England as music writer, Chrissie Hynde. Eager to start a career by fronting a band of her own, she was at one time or another involved with members of groups who eventually formed some of the most influential Punk groups of the initial scene, including the Sex Pistols and The Damned.
After many false starts and a brief move to France, the founder of Real Records, Dave Hill, stepped in, became her manager and encouraged her to finally start a band of her own. Hynde wasted no time whatsoever, and the resulting LP, Pretenders, proved the moment she was waiting for. An out-of-the-box smash, it has since gained legendary status, a mix of New Wave, 1960’s British Invasion Pop, Punk and straight ahead Rock and Roll.
Sadly, drugs would take the lives of two of the founding members before the release of their third LP. Nevertheless, Hynde soldiered on with drummer Martin Chambers from the original line-up, who would play on a majority of The Pretenders output over the resulting decades. The hits kept coming, including cracking the US Billboard Hot 100 numerous times, including a top 5 Pop single.
As the years followed, Hynde devoted herself less to recording and touring, preferring to spend time as a single mother, raising her kids and devoting herself to a variety of social causes, most notably animal rights activism. The Pretenders seemed to lose steam by the end of the 1980’s, only to be reinvigorated by their best-selling album in almost ten years, The Last of the Independents in 1994.
After this, she started spending a great deal of time working on other projects, including a duet with Frank Sinatra. The Pretenders would release an album now and again, with Hynde finally releasing her first official solo album in 2014, Stockholm. She has also authored two books, an autobiography and a book about painting. Her last recordings were with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys producing, Alone, in 2016, which was followed by a lengthy world tour. Hynde recently completed a tour of Australia with Stevie Nicks, and always seems to be a top concert draw.
Along the way, she has influenced countless other acts, especially countless other female musicians to follow their own path. Upon seeing her in Central Park live in 1980, the one and only Madonna had this to say: “She was amazing: the only woman I’d seen in performance where I thought, yeah, she’s got balls, she’s awesome! … It gave me courage, inspiration, to see a woman with that kind of confidence in a man’s world”
All tracks are performed by The Pretenders unless otherwise noted.
- Night In My Veins (live), 1994, The David Letterman Show, original version on Last of the Independents
- Love’s A Mystery (live), 2010, Live In London, original version on Break Up the Concrete
- Hold a Candle to This (alternate version), 1990, original version on Packed!
- Room Full of Mirrors, 1986, Get Close
- Alone, 2016, Alone
- Back on the Chain Gang, 1982, single A-side, eventually released on Learning to Crawl
- Straight Ahead, 2004, single A-side (Tube & Berger featuring Chrissie Hynde)
- 1969, 1988, 1969 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- Private Life (live), 1995, The Isle of View, original version on Pretenders (Pretenders with the Duke Quartet)
- Tattooed Love Boys (live), 1980, Riviera Theatre 1980 bootleg, original version on Pretenders
- Boots of Chinese Plastic, 2008, Break Up the Concrete
- The Adultress, 1981, Pretenders II
- Mystery Achievement, 1980, Pretenders
- Swinging London (instrumental), 1979, “Brass In Pocket” B-side
- FINALE: I Got You Babe, 1985, Baggariddim (UB40 with Chrissie Hynde) and Singles in 1986
- Lie to Me, 2006, Loose Screw
- Dark Sunglasses, 2014, Stockholm (Chrissie Hynde solo)
- Talk of the Town (single mix), 1980, single A-side, different mix released on Pretenders II
- Watching the Clothes (Denmark Street demo), 1983, Pirate Radio box set
- Never Do That, 1990, Packed
- Popstar, 1999, Viva El Amor
- Middle of the Road, 1983, Learning to Crawl
- Rebel Rock Me, 1994, Last of the Independents
- Where Has Everybody Gone?, 1987, The Living Daylights soundtrack
- Precious, 1980, Pretenders
- If You Let Me, 2011, Fidelity!, (JP, Chrissie Hynde and The Fairground Boys)
- She, 1999, Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Graham Parsons (Pretenders with Emmylou Harris)
- My City Was Gone (live), 1983, live at the US Festival, CA, eventually released on an expanded edition of Learning to Crawl
- Show Me, 1984, Learning to Crawl
- I’ll Stand By You (Live), 1994, Saturday Night Live: The Musical Performances, Vol. 2, original release on Last of the Independents
- FINALE: The Wait (album version), 1980, Pretenders
Love to you all.
Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
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