Hereford (UK) - 1978
Alternative rock and new wave band The Pretenders, formed in 1978 in Hereford, England, by the distinctive singer and guitarist Chrissie Hynde. Hynde, a native of Akron, Ohio, USA, moved to London in the early 1970s, where she immersed herself in the vibrant music scene. Before forming The Pretenders, Chrissie collaborated with a number of artists, including the Sex Pistols and The Damned.
The Pretenders’ eponymous debut album was released in 1980, featuring hits such as “Brass in Pocket”, the band’s first big hit and now a classic, which reached number one in the UK charts. The band consisted of Hynde on vocals and guitar, James Honeyman-Scott on guitar, Pete Farndon on bass and Martin Chambers on drums. The successful line-up was struck by tragedy with the deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon in 1982 and 1983, respectively, due to drug-related problems. Despite these losses, Hynde carried on with the project and continued to lead The Pretenders.
The band’s career continued to rise unstoppably, and was marked by indisputable hits such as “Back on the Chain Gang”, “I’ll Stand by You” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong”. Over the years, Chrissie Hynde, has stood out not only as a virtuous songwriter and vocalist, but also as a tremendously influential figure in the music scene, recognised for her unique style and her ability to fuse rock with diverse influences. Beyond her success in music, Hynde has also stood out for her work as an activist in several causes, consolidating her legacy in both the music scene and in social engagement.
September 2023 saw the release of her twelfth album “Relentless”, released after the lead single “Let the Sun Come In”. An album composed jointly by Chrissie Hynde and James Walbourne (current lead guitarist of the band and former member of The Pogues and The Rails) and which is their best-selling album in the last 23 years, reaching the Top 40 in the UK. It has received great critical acclaim.
Described by MOJO as “persistently brilliant songs… surely the way Chrissie Hynde always wanted The Pretenders to sound”.
The Observer : “Inspiring longevity”.
Record Collector has hailed “The Pretenders’ best album in 20 years” with a five-star review.
Uncut Magazine called the album “Chrissie Hynde’s new fullness”.
The Times proclaimed that “this is The Pretenders at their rocking best”.
The I Newspaper praised “quite a statement of intent”.
The Telegraph confirmed that “Relentless could be one of the most exciting things you hear all year”.
With various line-ups over the years, The Pretenders have left an indelible mark in music, cementing their place as a true rock icon.