Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pretenders - Day After Day

It took Chrissie Hynde years to find the right fit in a band, but once she did, the results were impressive.  Hynde was originally from Ohio, but moved to London in the early 1970's in order to pursue a career in music.  After several failed attempts (including early versions of both The Clash and The Damned), Hynde found her band in the Pretenders.

The band was named after The Platters song "The Great Pretender," and found almost immediate success -- their first album hit #9 in the U.S. and was a #1 album in the UK in 1980.  Pretenders II followed in late 1981 and hit #10 on the U.S. charts.

"Day After Day" is a rare Pretenders song not written entirely by Hynde (guitarist James Honeyman-Scott co-wrote it).  The song was never released as a single, but the band did release a video (of course), which went into heavy rotation on my favorite video music channel.  The song is classic Pretenders, mixing pop, new wave and punk into something greater than the sum of its parts.  This is a band at the top of their game.

Unfortunately, drugs would soon destroy the first incarnation of the band.  Bassist Pete Frandon was kicked out of the Pretenders in June 1982 due to drug use, and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott died days later of cocaine intolerance.  Farndon subsequently drowned in 1983, after taking heroin in a bathtub and passing out.  Hynde soldiered on, but to my ears was never quite able to fully re-capture the magic of the first version of the band.



Note that "2000 Miles" was posted at ERV in December, 2012.

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