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In this album, you have the perfect mix of four musicians at a time when it was satori for them to get together.
First,Chrissie, who was at here cocky I'm-a-woman-of-the-world-and I'll-kick-your-ass-if-you-abuse-me-again best voice, sounds like a dominatrix with a hidden heart of gold & not the PETA militant we get now (although you can see it coming on this album, but it seems like it would be more). She has the perfect balance of rage AND sensitivity on this album. It's watching oragami fragile idealism wrapped in Kevlar armor with leather & studs over it. It's fascinating as to how the combo got wedded together. She sings tender-but-wary ballads ("Kid") along side of fever sex dreams that show that the mystery of sex still outweighs the mistrust ("Mystery Achievement", "Up The Neck", "The Wait") and tales of survival ("Tatooed Love Boys", "The Phone Call") & confidence ("Brass In Pocket", "Private Life").
Secondly, you have James-Honeyman Scott. Why, oh why, you a**hole did you have to O.D.? Didn't you know you were probably the greatest new wave guitar player this side of Tom Verlaine?
This album is rife with extrodinarily economic but blistering riffs. JHS was old enough to rock out melodically like guitarists of yore, but added enough punkish noise to the fuel like Nostradamus's match, predicting the coming of Sonic Youth & Nirvana. The use of the atmospheric harmonic line from "Tatooed Love Boys" is STILL brilliant. And, my god you played like a hot rod drives: foot on the floor to the end of the quarter whether you were going to explode or not. Maybe it's not a wonder that you flamed out...Read more ›
After a quarter of a century, your heart will still quicken and your blood pressure will rise. That same excitement you got back then will come right back.
Without an ounce of hyperbole, this nuclear-hot collaboration between an American expatriate and three profoundly talented Englishmen at the tail end of the punk movement resulted in a 12-song set that in it's quality, influence, vision, range, ambition and plain old rock & roll energy has yet to be matched.
You hear this album, you will think these guys could do anything they wanted. Punk to pop, country to new-wave soul. It's all here, and none of it sounds like genre-hopping. It's a totally organic sound. Instantly recognizable.
This album has not been remastered since its' original release, and now benefits from greater separation and clarity, yet it doesn't sound too harsh or over-detailed. It feels true to its' source. It's crisp. I had hoped after "Pirate Radio" (the recent box set) that their records would start to become available in newly remastered versions; here we have the first of two...a double CD at a double CD price point.
You have Chrissie Hynde's inimitable voice...part Dusty Springfield, part snarling cat. James Honeyman-Scott's precise, spare, efficient (but still thoroughly musical) style of playing was the sound of a punk rocker who took a lot of lessons. Pete Farndon's muscular, melodic bass was clearly influenced by British 60's rock...like the Who and the Beatles. Martin Chambers' drumming could go from a simple 4/4 backbeat to these unearthly tempo shifts and back without sounding like he's even trying.Read more ›
This CD has two issues:
1. A "phone ring" sound effect is missing from the song "The Phone Call".
Steve had stated that the master tape did not have the sound effects on it. The sound effects were to be "flown in" using a digital workstation.
From an email that I received from Marshall:
"As to the ringtone, we used the original English master, which did not have the phone ring. The ring was added later."
2. The disc has compression on it that is not found on the original Sire CD. Regardless of ones opinion of the sound, AF CDs should not have compression on them, per the statement on each CD "The original dynamic range of this recording has not been maximized, brickwalled, limited or compressed in any way during remastering".
Steve was not around the forum during the discovery of the issues by forum members. A few weeks prior to the discovery, he had stated that his PC "blew up" and that he wouldn't be around for awhile. He came back to the forum after a few days of discussion regarding the issues on this CD and said this:
So how do we like the Pretenders so far?
Obviously I can't talk about it.
If you like the sound of the disk, keep it and enjoy it.
If you are on the fence and sort of like it or are a collector, keep it as a unique item.
If you don't like what happened to it, just return it as defective, it's sold out of the run anyway.
Trust me, this FUBAR situation won't happen again on anything I master. This is not AF's fault.
Once again, if you like it, keep it, if you don't, return it as defective.
Please don't ask me any more questions as I can't answer them."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
PLAY THIS ALBUM LOUD! This is the album that saved us all from Disco in the late 70's/early 80's.Published 5 months ago by my master
The best rock record of 1979. And that year had plenty of them.Published 6 months ago by Nostalchik
This is a review of the 2 CD expanded set. The first disc is one of the greatest albums of the post-punk/new wave era, and that's that. Read morePublished 10 months ago by John Porcellino