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4.7 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Pretenders [Reissue]
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Audio CD, October 3, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Pretenders, the band's stunning debut album, was originally released in 1980 and hit #9 in Billboardr. Introduced the Pretenders classics 'Kid,' 'Precious,' 'Mystery Achievement' and the #14 Billboardr hit 'Brass In Pocket.' Plus the band's distinctive take on Ray Davies 'Stop Your Sobbing, which was their breakthrough single in the U.K. and the U.S. Bonus disc 2 boasts previously unreleased demos for 'Kid,' 'Brass In Pocket,' 'Stop Your Sobbing,' 'Tequila,' and more, plus a 'Cuban Slide' outtake and BBC performances including 'Mystery Achievement.' Also features previously unreleased live gems including 'Precious,' 'The Phone Call,' and 'Tattooed Love Boys' recorded at Boston's Paradise Theatre in March, 1980.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Precious [Disc 1]
  2. The Phone Call [Disc 1]
  3. Up The Neck [Disc 1]
  4. Tattooed Love Boys [Disc 1]
  5. Space Invader [Disc 1]
  6. The Wait [Disc 1]
  7. Stop Your Sobbing [Disc 1]
  8. Kid [Disc 1]
  9. Private Life [Disc 1]
  10. Brass In Pocket [Disc 1]
  11. Lovers of Today [Disc 1]
  12. Mystery Achievement [Disc 1]

Disc: 2

  1. Cuban Slide (outtake) [Disc 2]
  2. Porcelain [Disc 2]
  3. The Wait (demo) [Disc 2]
  4. I Can't Control Myself (demo) [Disc 2]
  5. Nervous But Shy [Disc 2]
  6. Swinging London [Disc 2]
  7. Brass In Pocket (demo) [Disc 2]
  8. Kid (demo) [Disc 2]
  9. Stop Your Sobbing (demo) [Disc 2]
  10. Tequila (demo) [Disc 2]
  11. I Need Somebody (live BBC) [Disc 2]
  12. Mystery Achievement (live BBC) [Disc 2]
  13. Precious (live) [Disc 2]
  14. The Phone Call (live) [Disc 2]
  15. Tattooed Love Boys (live) [Disc 2]
  16. Sabre Dance (live) [Disc 2]

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000HIVQD0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,071 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The problem with the first Pretenders record was that it was so damn good it set expectations of the band incredibly high, and Scott & Farndon cracked under pressure.
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...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Pretenders' first album is one of the great rock albums.


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 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.
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Format: Audio CD
The Pretenders - The Pretenders (AFZ 052)

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:

"Hi everyone,

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."
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