The Pretenders - Paris Theatre - 1979

The Pretenders - Hard, spiky and instantly accessible in 1979.

The Pretenders – In Concert – 1979 – Past Daily Soundbooth

The Pretenders - Paris Theatre - 1979
The Pretenders – Hard, spiky and instantly accessible in 1979.

The Pretenders – live at The Paris Theatre – January 2, 1979 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert –

The Pretenders, live at the Paris Theatre in London – recorded on January 2, 1979 by BBC Radio for In Concert.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Pretenders founder Chrissie Hynde moved to England in the early ’70s, when she was in her twenties. British rock journalist Nick Kent helped her begin writing for New Musical Express; she wrote for the newspaper during the mid-’70s. She also worked in Malcolm McLaren’s SEX boutique before she began performing. After playing with Chris Spedding, she joined Jack Rabbit; she quickly left the band and formed the Berk Brothers.

In 1978, Hynde formed the Pretenders, which eventually consisted of Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers. Later in the year, they recorded a version of Ray Davies’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” produced by Nick Lowe. The single made it into the British Top 40 in early 1979. “Kid” and “Brass in Pocket,” the group’s next two singles, were also successful. Their debut album, Pretenders, was released in early 1980 and eventually climbed to number one in the U.K. The band was nearly as successful in America, with the album reaching the Top Ten and “Brass in Pocket” reaching number 14.

Their self-titled debut album was released in January 1980 and was a success in the United Kingdom and the United States both critically and commercially. Produced by Chris Thomas, it is regarded as one of the best debut albums of all time, and has been named one of the best albums of all time by VH1 (no. 52) and Rolling Stone (no. 155).

During March 1981, the EP Extended Play was released, containing the UK and US success “Message of Love” and “Talk of the Town”, “Porcelain”, “Cuban Slide” and a live version of “Precious”, recorded in Central Park, New York City.

The second full-length album, Pretenders II, was released during August 1981. Pretenders II included the Extended Play singles, the MTV video success “Day After Day”, and popular album-radio tracks “The Adultress”, “Birds of Paradise”, “Bad Boys Get Spanked”, and “The English Roses”. Chris Thomas was once again at the helm for all recordings.

Following the release of their twelfth album Break Up the Concrete, the Pretenders spent the next few years touring, but after 2012, Hynde put the band on hiatus. In 2014, she released Stockholm, her first-ever solo album, which was followed in 2015 by her memoir Reckless: My Life as a Pretender.

But heading back to 1979, here is one of their memorable gigs, captured by the BBC in January 1979. It’s suggested you crank this one up. Just a rumor.




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