Pretenders - Pretenders LP

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

The milieu the Pretenders create on their groundbreaking debut didn't exist when the album came out in early 1980. Such is the magnitude of originality, creativity, and nerve the band captured on a record that captivated each side of the Atlantic and both upended and advanced tradition. The no-nonsense set also announced the arrival of the inimitable Chrissie Hynde, one of the greatest singer-songwriters in rock history, gender be damned. Equally significant, the album remains just one of two studio efforts featuring the original members before tragedy ended the lives of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.

Schooled in the era's raw, unfiltered English punk yet equally versed in rockabilly, new-wave pop, and British Invasion rock, the band orchestrates songs that overflow with keen hooks, sexual swagger, and ear-catching melodies. Courtesy of the aggressive guitars and leather-tough cool, Pretenders moves fast, Hynde's assertive deliveries and take-notice lyrics jolting the senses with a lethal mix of sophistication, toughness, tenderness, rebelliousness, and romance.

With Honeyman-Scott playing the Richards to her Jagger, Hynde operates on pure instinct. She throws down the gauntlet on the corrugated pulse of "Precious," proves she can hang with even the roughest boys on the energetic bounce of "Tattooed Love Boys," and, on the smash hit "Brass In Pocket," spouts self-aggrandizing claims that she would back up for decades to come. Yet Hynde and the Pretenders' appeal goes much deeper than brazenness. Akin to her guitarist's unconventional phasing and treated effects, the singer never abides by rules or stereotypes as she balances the gutsiness and attitude with sensitivity ("Lovers of Today"), compassion (the jangling "Stop Your Stopping"), and vulnerability ("Kid").

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