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The Singles

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cool, tough, sexy and swaggering, the songs of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders haven't lost a bit of verve. Here are 16 key cuts from their 1980-87 prime including every hit: Back on the Chain Gang; Don't Get Me Wrong; Middle of the Road; Brass in Pocket; Show Me; My Baby; Stop Your Sobbing , and more!

Ignoring the "Precious" side of Chrissie Hynde's rocking and writing, The Singles still captures a good bit of what was special about her in the '80s. Bopping assertions of strength ("Brass in Pocket"), wistful dreaminess ("Talk of the Town"), flat-out weepers ("2000 Miles"), her tough-mom attitude ("Middle of the Road")--the many sides of her seven-inches are generously surveyed herein. --Rickey Wright

1. Stop Your Sobbing
2. Kid
3. Brass In Pocket
4. Talk of the Town
5. I Go To Sleep
6. Day After Day
7. Message of Love
8. Back On the Chain Gang
9. Middle of the Road
10. 2000 Miles
11. Show Me
12. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
13. Don't Get Me Wrong
14. Hymn To Her
15. My Baby
16. I Got You Babe - The Pretenders / UB40

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire / London/Rhino
  • ASIN: B000002LD7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,707 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on June 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"The sweetest woman in the world/may be the meanest woman in the world/if you make her that way." The Persuaders sang those words nearly 15 years before the Pretenders, but they strongly describe that resilient group and its charismatic lead singer, Chrissie Hynde.
"The Singles" is ultimately a compelling, although incomplete, survivor's story. In Hynde the group had one of music's most eloquent, expressive voices, as sharp and sarcastic in aiming at social ills (she was among the first to chide early MTV for excluding black artist videos, then ridiculed those same black artists for transforming the videos into commercials) as she was tender and vulnerable describing the longing of "I Go To Sleep" or the sexy, tentative swagger of "Brass In Pocket." (Credit should also go to members Robbie McIntosh and Martin Chambers, who provided the group its ew wave backbeat punch.)
New Wave got assimilated. Band members enjoyed the rock and roll high life, paying the ultimate cost themselves and exacting a high cost on survivors. Causes arose that had to be addressed, but the Pretenders music survived. "Back On The Chain Gang," and "Middle Of The Road" (from 1983's top-selling "Learning To Crawl") are defiant statements of purpose, band members rocking ever harder as Hynde shouts, "I'm going home, I'm tired as hell/I'm not the kind I used to be/I've got a kid, I'm 33." It may not have been the first time a working mom expressed her frustration in song, but it was among the most powerful.
The early hits are all here: their first single "Stop Your Sobbing," the gorgeous Christmas ballad "2000 Miles", a fun remake of "I Got You Babe" with UB40.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hosking on June 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"One of the greatest pop singers that has ever lived" is how Elvis Costello has desribed Pretenders' leader Chrissie Hynde. I'm not going to argue with that, for all that her output has actually been quite small for the length of time she's been in the business. The best of the Pretenders is here, pretty much - they were, in all their various incarnations, one of the best singles bands of the early 1980s. Punk attitude meets the melody of the early sixties - with a touch of the ringing guitar from Abbey Road era Beatles. The best known songs will be 'Back on the Chain Gang', with its atmosphere of loss made more poignant by the recent deaths of two original band members; and the sassy 'Brass in Pocket'. My own favourite though is 'Talk of the Town' - a single off the band's second album, it is one of Hynde's most subtle vocal performances, one which moves through many moods in a three minute single. Opening sounding cool, she moves through tough, seductive, vulnerable and longing. It's a stunning, though underplayed, effort, and its sensual edge is complemented by the way the guitars strum and surge into the chorus. Unlike some other reviewers I don't miss 'My City Was Gone' although I'd have preferred it to the duet with UB40, one of the most annoying bands of the era. That, and the poor packaging, loses this a fifth star.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Hardcore fans tend to gripe--and not without reason--that this compliation presents a one-sided picture of the band, omitting their punkier and more abrasive numbers in favor of pure pop. While I might be prone to agree, I'm so won over by the utterly magnificent music here that the point soon becomes moot. Pretenders is really just Chrissie Hynde and whomever else is available at the moment, a fact that neither negates the legitimacy of the first, tragedy-ridden incarnation of the band, nor says anything about Hynde herself except that she's obviously a team player. Regardless of whose backing her, the woman sings, writes, plays guitar, and kicks (...) with the best of them--matched only by "Parallel Lines"-era Debbie Harry and the legendary Patti Smith. Unlike both of those artists, however, she's managed to make consistently stunning, accessible rock for almost three decades, which must be a record of some kind. By now, everyone who has ever turned on the radio can attest to the excellence of "Brass In Pocket", "Back on the Chain Gain", "Middle of the Road", and "Don't Get Me Wrong". As such, I'd like to direct your attention to "Talk of the Town", "Message of Love", "Show Me" and the beautiful "2000 Miles", all of which add to her case as greatest female rock singer of all time. To put it another way, this is one record everyone should own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What a delicious dish of melodic rock and pop! From the opening number Stop Your Sobbing to their lovely interpretation of I Got You Babe that closes the album, this is a non-stop feast for the ears.
Chrissie Hynde is an expert vocalist, perfectly capturing the mood of every song with her nuanced vocals, whilst the rest of the band moves in perfect synth. The guitar playing is amongst the best you'll find in any rock music from the 1980s. Almost all of the songs are masterpieces, but my special favorites include Stop Your Sobbing, Kid, Brass In Pocket, Talk Of The Town, Message Of Love, Don't Get Me Wrong and I Got You Babe.
The music is tender and sensual at times, raucous and ebullient at others. Those who enjoy The Pretenders might also like their contemporaries Pat Benatar, The Cars or Joan Jet. This album should however appeal to a wide spectrum of people who appreciate tuneful and intelligent rock music that is still in touch with its roots.
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