Pretenders - Pretenders II LP


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180g Vinyl LP Reissue with 2018 Remastered Audio by Original Producer Chris Thomas

Part pop, part new-wave punk, part R&B, part soul, and 100% pure melodic rock n' roll, Pretenders II continued to send the quartet on its quick rise to the top and still serves as an admitted inspiration for bands ranging from Kings of Leon to Garbage. The key to the record's enduring appeal lies in the chemistry between iconic frontwoman Chrissie Hynde and inventive guitarist James Honeyman-Scott. Akin to legendary pairings like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, or Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the male-female duo operates as an inseparable team, with one member rousing the other and driving them to greater heights.

Hynde's now-classic moody songwriting – at once tough, sexual, and disciplined as well as human, vulnerable, and romantic – and Honeyman-Scott's tasteful riffs and deep-rooted rhythms hit their peak here, particularly on edgy cuts such as "The Adultress" and "Message of Love," but also on touching fare such as the hit rendition of the Kinks' "I Go To Sleep." It's an apropos cover choice, as the importance of English rock's impact on this album combined with Hynde's American background to make the sharp, biting 12-song set terrifically unique.

Hynde grew up idolizing R&B singers such as Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Dionne Warwick as well as boundary-pushing instigators like Iggy Pop. Yet she also became enthralled with the rawness and verve of the U.K.'s punk scene, and ultimately lived overseas for several years, adopting the leather-jacket look and don't-take-no-mess attitude. On Pretenders II, Hynde and her Welsh cohorts draw from both the American soul and English punk disciplines, creating classy albeit barbed music that has always been and will always be instantly identifiable as the Pretenders. Of equal importance, Pretenders II claims a significant history in that it represents the final statement the original band would make together. Bassist Pete Farndon was fired in 1982, and immediately thereafter, Honeyman-Scott died of a heroin overdose, effectively ending one of the greatest partnerships in rock.

This 180g vinyl LP reissue of Pretenders II features 2018 remastered audio by the album's original producer, Chris Thomas.