The Pretenders “Hate for Sale”: Forty years later, it’s back to the future
today at 6:00 am
It’s 1973. Twenty-two year old Chrissie Hynde is restless. Like so many of us in her age range, she’s looking to move out her childhood hometown. She takes her move to another level, moving from Akron, Ohio to London, England. Hynde wants to get into the music business so she gets a job at NME music magazine. Eventually, she tried to form a band. After a few failures, she met bassist Pete Farndon. They found guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and drummer Martin Chambers. The Pretenders were born.
Their influences included the punk band Sex Pistols and the British Invasion band The Kinks. Their sound was a combination of punk, rock and pop music. By 1980, they had released their first self-titled album which included classic hits, “Stop Your Sobbing” “Kid” and “Brass in Pocket.” The album is still considered one of the all-time great first records. The Pretenders were off and running.
By 1983, both Honeyman-Scott and Farndon were dead of drug overdoses. If it wasn’t already, The Pretenders were now Chrissie Hynde’s band.
It’s now forty years since that first album. The band has gone through many personnel changes. Hynde has become a major star in the world of music. She’s continued with the group as well as working on solo projects and tours. In 2020, it’s time for The Pretenders to release an new album. “Hate For Sale” is the eleventh of their career and features original drummer Martin Chambers. The other band personnel are bassist Nick Wilkinson and guitarist James Walbourne, who has writing credits along with Hynde on all ten tunes.
From the first song on the album, the title track of “Hate For Sale”, you’re hit with the familiar Pretenders sound. You hear the guitar that you remember from their earliest records. The vocals from Hynde haven’t changed at all. Her voice, at age 68, is still strong and powerful. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were hearing a record from 1980 instead 2020. The same formula that worked so well four decades ago, still works today.
The ten songs on the album takes up a total of thirty-one minutes. None of them lasting as long as four minutes. It’s almost like the old days of the British Invasion when all the singles were made to play on AM radio.
In a year when everything in life has changed, one constant that has stayed the same is the music of The Pretenders. There’s nothing wrong with that….nothing at all.
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