Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl (1983)


Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette, later replaced by a CD. My copy is not the 2007 reissue that included bonus tracks.

This is The Pretenders' greatest album and the only Pretenders release I have on CD even though Message of Love could possibly my favorite Pretenders song and it was on their previous release, Pretenders II. This is a more complete album. I saw this group on a tour back in July, 1998 with the B-52's (that's an interesting pairing, for sure). Chrissie Hynde can still bring it, plus she gets bonus points for marrying Jim Kerr of Simple Minds. They're divorced now, but a Pretenders/Simple Minds double bill would be a must-see. This music has aged well. The song My City was Gone is especially poignant to me now because it makes me think of the town I grew up in which has undergone significant changes and decay over the past 25 years.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #5
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #4

Tracks: Middle of the Road may be one of the best opening tracks of the 80s. My other favorites include Time the Avenger, My City was Gone, and 2000 Miles. I could do without the cover of The Persuaders' Thin Line Between Love and Hate mainly because it seems out of place on the album. I had no recollection of I Hurt You which shows that it is literally a forgettable track.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Two things come to mind. The first is that in the winter of 1983/84, MTV played the video for Back on the Chain Gang seemingly every hour. Secondly, this release reminds of a church youth group trip that I made to the Dallas area during spring break of 1984. I must have listened to this tape non-stop on that trip.

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