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The Pretenders
  • BIRTHDAYS: Chrissie Hynde (September 7, 1951) ~ Martin Chambers (September 4, 1951) ~ James Honeyman-Scott (November 4, 1957 - June 16, 1982)
  • RECORD LABEL: Sire Records
  • BIGGEST SINGLE: "I'll Stand By You" (1994)
  • BIGGEST LP: Learning To Crawl (1984)
  • CONTACT: The Pretenders, 3 East 54th Street, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10022
  • The Pretenders Info Page  

    The PretendersThe Pretenders formed in 1978 as a rock quartet featuring Chrissie Hynde as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist. The band has seen numerous changes in members due to deaths and conflicts, yet Chrissie has remained the focal point and the backbone of the group. Her distinctive vocals and cavalier charm have established her as one of the premier singers of rock and alternative music. Chrissie's provocative and often personal songwriting skills and singing presentation showed the world that she not only can sing with the big boys of rock, but often surpass their abilities. Chrissie may be the first 'chick rocker." Although Chrissie hails from Akron, Ohio, she made her musical move in England in the early 70s. Before the Pretenders, Chrissie played with a few other bands including Jack Rabbit and the Berk Brothers.

    The Pretenders - The Pretenders1978... The first formation of the Pretenders included Chrissie, James Honeyman-Scott (guitar), Pete Farndon (bass), and Martin Chambers (drums). The band grew out of the disappearing punk sound and emerged successfully into the new wave trend of the late 70s and early 80s. Their first successful recordings in England was a version of Ray Davie's "Stop Your Sobbing," "Kid," and the eventual U.S. hit, "Brass In Pocket."

    1980... Their first LP, The Pretenders, was released in January, and went Platinum in the U.S.

    The Pretenders - The Pretenders II1981... The band followed up their introduction to American audiences with touring, an EP, "Extended Play," and their second LP, The Pretenders II. The band was quickly becoming one of the premier alternative acts in the U.S. and England, and Chrissie continued to present herself as a tough, sexual musician.

    1982... Conflict and tragedy began affecting the group when Honeyman-Scott died on June 16, 1982, from "cocaine-related heart failure" in London, two days after Farndon was fired from the band (due to his drug use and resulting unreliability).

    1983... Farndon also died amidst rumors of a drug overdose on April 14, 1983. By the end of the year, Chrissie and Ray Davies became parents, and the Pretenders regrouped with new members Robbie MacIntosh on guitar and Malcolm Foster on bass.

    The Pretenders - Learning To Crawl1984... The band recorded the Christmas track, "2000 Miles" and released Learning To Crawl. The LP found the Pretenders finding more success on the pop charts as well as rock and alternative radio, with the tracks "Back On The Chain Gang," "Middle Of The Road," and "Show Me." Hynde married Simple Mind's Jim Kerr.

    1985... The Pretenders appeared at Live Aid and Chrissie could be heard on a cover version of "I Got Your Babe" with UB40.

    The Pretenders - Get Close1986... Chrissie and Macintosh finished their next LP, Get Close, with the help of session musicians. Tracks such as "Don't Get Me Wrong" helped maintain the Pretenders' success and in 1987, a greatest hits collection, The Singles, was released.

    The Pretenders1988... Chrissie once again joined forces with UB40 for the cover, "Breakfast In Bed."

    1990... Chrissie and Kerr divorced and The Pretenders released Packed! which found little commercial success.

    The Pretenders - Last Of The Independents1994... In May, the Pretenders released Last Of The Independents, and the band found success once again with tracks such as "Night In My Veins" and their biggest pop hit, "I'll Stand By You." The LP marked the return of original member, Martin Chambers.

    The Pretenders - The Isle Of View1995... In October, the Pretenders released a live LP, The Isle Of View, offering acoustic recordings of many of their hits. The band also contributed a cover version of "Everyday Is Like Sunday" for the Boys On The Side soundtrack.

    Ranked # 69 on VH-1's GREATEST ROCK 'N ROLL ARTISTS POLL (and # 41 on Rock On The Net's Poll)

    Chrissie Hynde1997... Chrissie most recently made the news when she married a 32 year old sculptor. New Pretenders material appeared in the form of movie music with 2 tracks on the G.I. Jane soundtrack, "Goodbye" and "The Homecoming."

    The Pretenders - The Pretenders The Pretenders
    Released: January, 1980
    US: Platinum
    includes: "Stop Your Sobbing," "Precious," "Kid," and "Brass In Pocket"
    The Pretenders - Extended Play EP Extended Play (EP)
    Released: 1981
    The Pretenders - The Pretenders II The Pretenders II
    Released: 1981
    US: Gold
    includes: "Message Of Love," "The Adulteress," and "Talk Of The Town"
    The Pretenders - Learning To Crawl Learning To Crawl
    Released: 1984
    US: Platinum
    includes: "Back On The Chain Gang," "Middle Of The Road," "Show Me," "My City Was Gone," and "Time The Avenger"
    The Pretenders - Get Close Get Close
    Released: 1986
    US: Gold
    includes: "Don't Get Me Wrong," "My Baby," and "Hymn To Her"
    The Pretenders - The Singles The Singles
    Released: November, 1987
    US: Gold
    includes: "I Got You Babe"
    The Pretenders - Packed! Packed!
    Released: 1990
    includes: "Sense Of Purpose" and "Never Do That"
    The Pretenders - Last Of The Independents Last Of The Independents
    Released: May, 1994
    US: Gold
    Billboard peak: # 41
    includes: "Night In My Veins" and "I'll Stand By You"
    The Pretenders - The Isle Of View The Isle Of View
    Released: October, 1995
    The Pretenders - Viva El Amor Viva El Amor
    Released: June, 1999
    Billboard peak: # 158
    includes: "Human"
    Videos: Isle Of View ~ The Singles
    International Lyrics ServerCD Now

  • StarPulse: The Pretenders
  • Pretenders Archives
  • Jiblet's Pretenders Place
  • The Pretenders - Isle of View
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • SonicNet: The Pretenders
  • Rolling Stone: The Pretenders
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  • MTV: The Pretenders
  • Yahoo: The Pretenders
  • BIO (continued)

    Chrissie Hynde’s Advice to Chick Rockers

    Don't moan about being a chick, refer to feminism or complain about sexist discrimination. We’ve all been thrown down stairs and f--ed about, but no one wants to hear a whining female. Write a loosely disguised song about it instead and clean up ($).
    Never pretend you know more than you do. If you don't know chord names, refer to the dots. Don't go near the desk unless you plan on becoming an engineer.
    Make the other band members look and sound good. Bring out the best in them; that's your job. Oh, and you better sound good, too.
    Do not insist on working with "females"; that's just more b.s. Get the best man for the job. If it happens to be a woman, great - you’ll have someone to go to department stores with on tour instead of making one of the road crew go with you.
    Try not to have a sexual relationship within the band. It always ends in tears.
    Don't think that sticking your boobs out and trying to look f--able will help. Remember you're in a rock and roll band. It's not "f-- me," it's "f-- you"!
    Don't try to compete with the guys; it won't impress anybody.

    The Pretenders - Viva El Amor1999... The Pretenders could be heard with the track "Loving You Is All I Know" from the film The Other Sister. A new Pretenders LP, Viva El Amor, was released in June, with the first single, "Human." The cover of the LP is from a photo taken by Chrissie's friend, the late Linda McCartney. The band toured Europe most of the year and will be tourin in the U.S. in 2000.

    2000... In February, Hynde won a Gibson Guitar Award for Best Rock Guitarist (Female). She also headlined a rally in British Columbia protesting the import of cow hides from India and the demand for leather. In March, Chrissie was arrested with PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk, in New York for reportedly damaging leather products at a Manhattan Gap store as part of a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) protest. A month later the Gap Inc. announced they would no longer buy skins from black markets in India. In August, the Pretenders will be opening for Neil Young's tour. In November, Rolling Stone & MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs includes "Brass In Pocket" at #87.

    2001... In January, VH1: 100 Greatest Albums includes The Pretenders at # 52. In September, The Pretenders II was certified gold.

    SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY [based on The ARC Weekly Top 40
    1 I'll Stand By You 5 16 1994 13
    2 Back On The Chain Gang 3 14 1983 3
    3 Don't Get Me Wrong 7 12 1986 8
    4 Brass In Pocket (I'm Special) 9 12 1980 1
    5 Middle Of The Road 13 10 1984 4
    6 Show Me 20 6 1984 5
    7 I Got You Babe [shown as UB40 with Chrissie Hynde] 26 5 1985 7
    8 Night In My Veins ** ** 1994 12
    9 My Baby ** ** 1987 9
    10 Stop Your Sobbing ** ** 1980 2
    11 Thin Line Between Love And Hate ** ** 1984 6
    12 Never Do That ** ** 1990 10
    13 Sense Of Purpose ** ** 1990 11
    The Pretenders singles ranking ~ listing explanation



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