The Best Cover of The Pretenders

This number one hit features an opening guitar riff evocative of punk’s groundbreaking period, while Hynde’s seductive vocal and Honeyman-Scott’s extraordinary soloing elevate it to classic status.

Hynde has long been beloved live, and this song showcases her signature funky swagger and pop hook. As she prepares to release her 12th album in 2023, we take a look back on her impressive career thus far.

The Early Years

Chrissie Hynde always dreamt of fronting her own band. Unfortunately, Chrissie Hynde realized this dream through The Pretenders with guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers before both Farndon and Honeyman-Scott died from drug related causes within years of joining together.

That being said, The Pretenders’ initial three albums — “Brass in Pocket”, “Kid”, and “Tequila” — are near-perfection. Hynde’s talent for writing catchy pop hooks was evident across these albums that expertly fused new wave with melodic rock.

Hynde’s bold and seductive vocal flipped rock’s traditional male posturing, creating a band unlike anything else at the time: with their jangly guitars, catchy hooks and clever lyrics setting them apart from peers like Suzi Quatro, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar and Debbie Harry – they soon went on to produce several hit albums as Hynde and The Pretenders’ vision never wavered; indeed the Pretenders became an influential band which helped pave the way for female rockers like her like Joan Jett had done before her. Hynde and The Pretenders laid the way for female rockers like herself when they came together despite lineup changes; these women had pioneered their musical careers since 1986!

The Greatest Hits

When it comes to classic rock anthems, The Pretenders have more than their fair share. But one song stands out: one of their finest covers: 10cc’s hit “I’m Not in Love”, performed here by Hynde adding her personal voice for added emotion in this tale of love that simply won’t let go.

This barn-burner of a rocker has the sound and feel of punk’s beginnings, yet remains much more than mere rock and roll escapism. Hynde’s stunning vocal is truly captivating; making this song one of Hynde’s signature works.

Never would one expect a band who were known for punk and power pop to write one of the holiday’s most enduring songs; but that is exactly what The Pretenders achieved with “Kid.” With its 1960s vibe and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott’s sublime solo (think Duane Eddy meets Roy Orbison), “Kid” stands as an essential listen.

The Solo Years

Pretenders’ debut album captured the early 80s musical scene perfectly, featuring thrashed guitars and punk attitude in equal measure. From its memorable melodic hook on “Title Track” to Richard Swift’s chugging drumming and Dan Auerbach (of Black Keys fame) playing echo-heavy slide guitar – this album truly stands the test of time.

Hynde’s sensuous vocal and thought-provoking lyrics offer powerful social criticism while providing listeners with an exhilarating ride. Her iconic Pretenders song, “Brass in Pocket”, remains one of the cornerstones of power pop.

After a lengthy run with her rotating lineup of James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon (co-founding guitarist), Hynde decided to go solo for 2016’s Alone album. To accomplish this feat, she enlisted producer Dan Auerbach (of Black Keys fame) and created an everlasting rock classic that still sounds fresh today.

The Late Years

After the success of their debut and second album, The Pretenders were sailing forward. Guitarist James Honeyman-Scott’s untimely death at age 25 in 1982 was devastating, yet they continued on with new guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster joining.

This smoky power ballad from Pretenders’ third album showcases Hynde as more introspective and mature than on prior records, and features Byrds-influenced guitar jangles.

Song was composed following bassist Pete Farndon’s drug abuse-induced departure in June 1982 and subsequent death three days later, leaving only singer/songwriter Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers as members of the band. Its lyrics reflect this heartbreak while at the same time reflecting too many deaths caused by heroin use; Hynde has openly stated her regret at not doing more to combat what ultimately killed four bandmates forty years earlier.