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Pirate Radio Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 14, 2006
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Amazon's The Pretenders Store


Image of album by The Pretenders


Image of The Pretenders


Over the years, the Pretenders became a vehicle for guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde's songwriting, yet it was a full-fledged band when it was formed in the late '70s. With their initial records, the group crossed the bridge between punk/new wave and Top 40 pop more than any other band, recording a series of hard, spiky singles that were also melodic and immediately accessible. Hynde ... Read more in Amazon's The Pretenders Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000E1ZBHC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,166 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Precious (Regent Park Demo)*
2. Stop Your Sobbing
3. The Wait (Single Version)
4. Kid
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Back On The Chain Gang
2. Thumbelina
3. Thin Line Between Love And Hate
4. My City Was Gone
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Sense Of Purpose
2. Downtown (Akron)
3. How Do I Miss You
4. Bold As Love
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Everyday Is Like Sunday
2. Human (Class Mix)
3. Popstar
4. Back Down*
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Talk Of The Town
2. The Adultress
3. The Wait
4. Hollywood Perfume
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On "Brass in Pocket," one of the pretenders earliest singles-and their first to chart in the U.S., scoring #14 in Billboard-Chrissie Hynde sings, "I'm special, so special, I gotta have some of your attention, give it to me." Formed in London in '78 with Hynde, James Honeyman Scott, Martin Chambers, and Pete Farndon, the band received massive attention for that hit and other stellar songs from their 1980 self-titled debut album. Via impeccable musicianship and Hynde's charismatic persona-equal parts cool swagger, tough-but vulnerable lyrics and vocals, and idiosyncratic rhythm guitar-the Pretenders reinvented the concept of a woman in rock 'n' roll and became one of the most popular and distinctive acts in the world. Chrissie Hynde's singular presence has never ceased to build on their artistic legacy, chronicled now for the first time in Pirate Radio. Rhino. 2006.


Holding the Pretenders' Pirate Radio box set in your hand, you may be tempted to ask: What took you so long? Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, the Pretenders' impact on popular music goes without saying, and for a quarter century Chrissie Hynde has remained one of the smartest, sassiest, sexiest, and shaggiest women in rock. So this in-depth collection seems, if not overdue, at least a long time in coming.

At 81 tracks, Pirate Radio will satisfy die-hard fans with more fully remastered big hits and deep cuts than the earlier Singles and Greatest Hits compilations, as well as some previously unreleased gems--covers of "Angel of the Morning" and Warren Zevon's "Reconsider Me" are both standouts. The career-spanning live DVD is also a treat, with many performances featuring the original lineup. Add in a 60-page booklet jammed with chronological liner notes and reflections from band members, and you've got a powerful package. What's striking is how coherent this set sounds throughout all four discs, largely due to Hynde's unmistakable voice: From the punk swagger of their immortal 1979 debut to the reggae-informed sounds of 2003's Loose Screw, and after more personnel changes than Spinal Tap's percussion section, it all sounds like no one other than the Pretenders. --Ben Heege

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I love the Pretenders, one of my favorite bands of all time.
Marcia Peete
From the start with a tremendous archival book and 4 exemplary CD's , to the rarities DVD, and even a poster, YOU NEED TO OWN THIS!
Michael F. Luck
There's something about Chrissie Hynde and her music that has a timeless appeal.
K. Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The Pretenders catalog has needed to be upgraded for CD for a long time. They finally get their due with this sprawling but terrific boxed set. Although it is flawed (giving equal weight to all versions of the band doesn't do the band or Chrissie Hynde's songs justice. The first three albums are essential while later ones can be a bit hit or miss), these minor flaws are more than made up for by the collection of rarities included as well as the DVD performance of the band.

Disc 1 opens with songs recorded for their first two albums as the main focus. Their first album is well represented although some classic songs are overlooked. The rarities are terrific including the demo for "Precious", the single version of "The Wait" and a rare demo of "Watching the Clothes Go Round" which would eventually show up on the retooled line up's third album. "Cuban Slide" has always been a favorite of mine and this is only its second appearance on CD to the best of my knowledge (it appeared on a UK budget priced compilation a couple of years ago). The sound quality is stellar.

Disc 2 opens with the terrific ode to survival "Back on the Chain Gang" and goes through the highlights of their third album including "My City Was Gone" and "2000 Miles". We get an alternate version of "When I Change My Life" as well as "Worlds Within Worlds". We also get the cr?me of the crop from the fourth and fifth albums. This disc closes out with a superb cover of The Beatles' "Not a Second Time".

Disc 3 continues on with the stronger tracks from the fifth album by which point The Pretenders was Hynde and a group of session musicians.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Pirate Radio is a sprawling four disk box set (with a DVD also included) that has all the major hits plus rarities, demos and oddities expected from such a release. The music on the first two disks is classic stuff but the set wavers in the last two disks because it pays equal attention to all aspects of the band's career. That's not to say it is bad music, it pales to the band's glory days from 1979-1984. But the 1990's version of the band, which is still good, gets equal representation as the band's first two lineups which were among the greatest groups of the late 70's and mid 80's. The DVD contains live television performances and seeing the original lineup perform classics like "Tattooed Love Boys" and "Stop Your Sobbing" is well worth the viewing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Larry Davis on April 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Having just gotten the box, and listened to it all, I would agree with all the accolades this set has received here, and then some. I've been waiting a long time for a set like this to get released, and it was very much worth it. I always thought that their prior hits collections never did this band any justice because many of their best tunes were never released as singles. Many album tracks got played on rock and new-wave oriented stations, more so than so-called hits on Top-40. Songs from their first 3 albums and EP like "Message Of Love", "Mystery Achievement", "The Wait", "My City Was Gone", "Time The Avenger" and more. I always loved these songs and was always disappointed by their hits collections because these songs would never be included.

Now, with important bands and artists getting overviews and boxset treatments, I always thought and knew that Chrissie and the Pretenders would get this type of overview, in time, and I was right. As much as my patience was wearing thin, I just KNEW something like this would get done; I just had to wait. Low and behold, this set, "Pirate Radio" was everything I hoped for and more. It's PERFECT and "Precious" indeed, a set of such high-quality and a standard-setter for all boxsets in the future, those that are overviews as opposed to all their albums in a box, which I kinda hope happens to the Pretenders catalogue.

Musically, this box has the goods, really it does. It shows how important and exciting the original band was, and how much of a trailblazer Chrissie Hynde was, and continues to be, for not just female artists, but ALL artists!!! The band's music sounds as fresh today as it did all those years ago, and it still has both teeth and heart/soul.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Mohs on April 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It takes record companies and/or bands so very long to condense a body of work into its greatest offerings. Not many go for these large disc sets, but they have proved to be well worthwhile in the long haul (see e.g. Tom Petty's "Rewind" and Stevie Windwood's similar box set).

If for nothing else, buy this for the distinctive mix of "Precious" --- Chrissie Hynde at her snarling, pissed off best --- "Porcelain" and the phenomenal "Cuban Slide." How these last two missed making the cut on at least one of their first three LPs beats me, but I've been waiting YEARS to find them on disc --- they were released on an EP that I believe was originally sold in the UK to promote their first LP.

Well worth the expense, not only for a good overview of the band through its many transitions and phases, but also for the rare cuts that prove they are/were one of the most important bands bridging punk rock to alternative music in the 1980s. Moreover, for you fans of distinctive female vocals and solo female artists, almost all owe a great deal to Chrissie Hynde for blazing a scorching path for their success.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
How Long Is The DVD???
The DVD has 19 songs, from all over the place--polished lip-synched stuff to grainy live footage. Just finished watching it, and really enjoyed it from start to finish. I especially liked the original Pretenders footage--some live, some lip-synched--and the little "behind the Music... Read More
Mar 23, 2006 by Steven D. Miller |  See all 5 posts
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