Thin Line Between Love and Hate - The Pretenders, Members, Jackie
I Hurt You
The departure of bassist Pete Farndon, and the drug-related death of lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott in 1982, left Chrissie Hynde's Pretenders in disarray, but she and drummer Martin Chambers rallied to produce the stu... more »nning 1983 single, "Back on the Chain Gang" (dedicated to Scott), and over the course of the next year, cobbled together enough material for a new album, some of whose tracks included new members: guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster. Nontheless, the album held together due to Hynde's uniformly strong material, which ranged from the rocking, bluesy "Middle of the Road" to the near-protest tune "My City Was Gone," to the piercing "Time the Avenger." --Billy Altman« less
The departure of bassist Pete Farndon, and the drug-related death of lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott in 1982, left Chrissie Hynde's Pretenders in disarray, but she and drummer Martin Chambers rallied to produce the stunning 1983 single, "Back on the Chain Gang" (dedicated to Scott), and over the course of the next year, cobbled together enough material for a new album, some of whose tracks included new members: guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster. Nontheless, the album held together due to Hynde's uniformly strong material, which ranged from the rocking, bluesy "Middle of the Road" to the near-protest tune "My City Was Gone," to the piercing "Time the Avenger." --Billy Altman
Jes G. (jesgear) from DAVENPORT, IA Reviewed on 3/29/2016...
"Middle of the Road"
"Back on the Chain Gang"
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Best Pretenders album since the debut
W. K. Miller | NC, USA | 08/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I started out as a Pretenders fan with "Brass in Pocket" from the first album. While I admit that I wholeheartedly recommend the first album, Pretenders, over this one, I have to give this the thumbs up for the next CD to buy. If you already have the debut album, and want to sample more by Pretenders, then Learning to Crawl is your next best bet.And PLEASE, if you're only familiar with Pretenders' output from the 1990s, and you like it, then do yourself a favor and buy the debut CD or Learning to Crawl. They're both SO much better than what Hynde & Co. have done in the 1990s. You might want to give them both a listen. Admission: "Watching the Clothes" is terrible. It's a woeful song. I have heard many people say they don't like Pretenders. "Aren't they the band that sings that stupid 'Watching the Clothes'?" they ask. I don't quite know what to say. They usually don't believe me when I tell them that they had three outstanding albums, and this abysmal track is actually ON one of them. This CD has the standard "Back on the Chain Gang," and the excellent "Middle of the Road." A bonus-- "2000 Miles" is one of the few rock 'n' roll Christmas songs that is actually a decent song with quality lyrics. Chrissie Hynde has never sounded so wistful (or so confident) as on "Show Me" and "Middle of the Road" from this album. The band sounds tight, but not uptight. I always reach for the FF button when "Watching the Clothes" comes up, but otherwise, this CD has strong tracks start to finish. 4 stars.ken32"
The only one you need
Richard Harrold | Chicago, IL | 11/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When "Thumbelina" kicks in, I can feel the rigors up and down my spine. This is a timeless recording that mixes beautifully wonderful lyrics with memorable music. This recording is like a great road trip."Middle of the Road" and "Back on the Chain Gang" were big hits, but there are other wonderful gems on this. Robbie McIntosh on guitar is possessed: his "outside" playing on "Watching the Clothes" is positively stunning. And his relaxed melody on "Thumbelina" is chilling, while his finger-picking on "Middle of the Road" just about makes me cry.There are no throw-aways on this CD. "I Hurt You" is a true-to-life song of vengeful feelings run amok, while "2000 Miles" is a beautiful piece of how many of us "middle-aged" rockers deal with separation from time to time: it's part of the business life you know?But, of course, "My City Was Gone" is an anthem to all of us oldesters who remember when they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The simplicity of this song is its strength and what makes it timeless. This CD is pure genius. My only regret is that I never saw this particular phase of the Pretenders play live. I envy those of you who have."
Richard Harrold | 06/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who else but Chrissie Hynde can take you from degradation to elation with one turn of a phrase? She is the most able voice in female vocals today. Forget Alanis, Jewel and Sheryl. Chrissie is the originator of this style. She is the next Billie Holiday. Brilliant."
Working Class Hero: Chrissie Hynde Rocks!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Kansas City, Missouri | 06/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Learning to Crawl" is the only Pretenders album I like. The album has 8 great songs and 2 so-so ones (tracks 9 & 10). "Learning to Crawl" merges the personal and political, allowing its listeners to feel/view the world as experienced by a working class woman: Chrissie Hynde, an Ohio native who wrote all but one of the songs on this album. Hynde, a former waitress who bitterly remembers the experience on "Watching the Clothes" ("I been kissing ass/Trying to keep it clean/Serving the middle class"), is the authentic voice of a working class person, a voice not heard on pop radio since Bob Dylan faded from the scene. "My City Was Gone" mourns the destruction of Hynde's childhood Ohio: "My pretty countryside/Had been paved down the middle/By a government that had no pride." Quick, name another pop song that has a funky backbeat and a social/political message. Hynde's voice, with its limited range, is an advantage rather than a liability. No pretty melodies here, just some five-star writing/musicianship"