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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pretenders (1980)

Note: the CD I listened to was not the 2006 reissue with bonus disc.

First off, how great a band name is Pretenders?!?  And Chrissie Hynde's tough girl attitude and condescending glares really get me going.  This is one of the great debut albums and, even though I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, I finally got to it and I'm glad I did.  A fantastic amalgamation of punk, New Wave, pop, and rock, this album quickly reached heavy rotation around here once I finally gave it its due.  Great songwriting, an immediately recognizable voice, and outstanding guitar work by James Honeyman Scott.

  • debuted at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart
  • #52 - Best Albums of All Time by VH1
  • #64 - Best Albums of the 80s by Slant Magazine 
  • A minus - Robert Christgau
  • #13 - 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine
  • #20 - 100 Best Albums of the '80s by Rolling Stone Magazine
  • #155 - 500 Greatest Albums of All time by Rolling Stone Magazine

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #9
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #12

Tracks:  When know we're in for a treat from the get-go when Precious hits the speakers and Chrissie Hynde tells us to f off.  Other great lyrics include "I shot my mouth off and you showed me what that hole was for" from Tattooed Love Boys.  Other favorites include Up The Neck, The Kid, Mystery Achievement and, of course, Brass In Pocket.  Private Life reminds me so much of early Police, that I swear Andy Summers is playing the guitar part.  Don't skip any of the 12 tracks and don't listen on shuffle because the sequencing is perfect as is.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This was one of many albums that my high school buddy Jim played for me in the early '80s that I summarily dismissed. Because of my closed mind, I had to do remedial work later. Better late than never.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Learning to Crawl (1983)

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