Learning to Crawl [Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Chrissie Hynde took a long, hard road to rock & roll stardom, but when her band, the Pretenders, finally broke through in 1979, they wasted no time, growing from promising newcomers on the British music scene to major international stardom with a pair of smash albums to their credit in a mere three years. But the Pretenders' meteoric rise came to a crashing halt in 1982, when drug abuse claimed the life of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and forced Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers to dump bassist Pete Farndon, who would also succumb to an OD in April 1983. Hynde was forced by circumstance to reinvent the Pretenders for their third album, 1984's Learning to Crawl, but if...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Chrissie Hynde took a long, hard road to rock & roll stardom, but when her band, the Pretenders, finally broke through in 1979, they wasted no time, growing from promising newcomers on the British music scene to major international stardom with a pair of smash albums to their credit in a mere three years. But the Pretenders' meteoric rise came to a crashing halt in 1982, when drug abuse claimed the life of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and forced Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers to dump bassist Pete Farndon, who would also succumb to an OD in April 1983. Hynde was forced by circumstance to reinvent the Pretenders for their third album, 1984's Learning to Crawl, but if the new edition of the group lacked some of the spark of the band that made the first two LPs, through sheer force of will Hynde created a masterpiece. While Hynde hardly held back in her emotionally potent songwriting in the Pretenders' early work, on Learning to Crawl there's a gravity to her lyrics that blended with her tough but wiry melodic sense and streetwise intelligence to create a set of truly remarkable tunes. "Back on the Chain Gang" is a touching tribute to her fallen comrades that still sounds bitterly rueful, "Middle of the Road" is a furious rocker that explores the emotional and physical toll of a musician's life, "Time the Avenger" is a taut, literate examination of a businessman's adulterous relationship, "My City Was Gone" deals with the economic and cultural decay of the Midwest in a manner both pithy and genuinely heartfelt, and "2000 Miles" is a Christmas number that demonstrates Hynde can be warm without getting sappy. As a guitarist, Robbie McIntosh brought a simpler and more elemental style to the Pretenders than James Honeyman-Scott, but his tough, muscular leads fit these songs well, and bassist Malcolm Foster's solid punch fits Chambers' drumming perfectly. Three albums into her recording career, Chrissie Hynde found herself having to put the past to bed and carve out a new beginning for herself with Learning to Crawl, but she pulled it off with a striking mixture of courage, strength, and great rock & roll; with the exception of the instant-classic debut album, it's the Pretenders' finest work. In 2007, Rhino Records released an expanded and remastered edition of Learning to Crawl featuring seven bonus tracks. "Fast or Slow The Law's the Law" and "Ramblin' Bob" are two unreleased cuts that respectively give Martin Chambers and Robbie McIntosh a chance to show off their songwriting chops and they both sound better than many folks would expect, while "Tequila," a country-influenced number from Hynde's pen recorded for the album but cut from the running order, finally surfaces on this disc, along with demos of "I Hurt You" and "When I Change My Life" the latter of which would be re-recorded for 1986's Get Close. The disc closes out with two great live tunes from the Pretenders' set at the 1983 US Festival, "My City Was Gone" and a witty cover of Barrett Strong's "Money." Add Ben Edmonds' fine new liner notes and crisp new mastering and this is a near-definitive presentation of one of the great albums of the '80s.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2007
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227999872
  • Catalog Number: 101058

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Middle of the Road (4:14)
  2. 2 Back on the Chain Gang (3:51)
  3. 3 Time the Avenger (4:56)
  4. 4 Watching the Clothes (2:52)
  5. 5 Show Me (4:16)
  6. 6 Thumbelina (3:17)
  7. 7 My City Was Gone (5:25)
  8. 8 Thin Line Between Love and Hate (3:40)
  9. 9 I Hurt You (4:37)
  10. 10 2000 Miles (3:46)
  11. 11 Fast or Slow (The Law's the Law) (3:15)
  12. 12 Tequila (3:35)
  13. 13 I Hurt You (4:06)
  14. 14 When I Change My Life (4:43)
  15. 15 Ramblin' Rob (3:32)
  16. 16 My City Was Gone (4:53)
  17. 17 Money (4:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pretenders Primary Artist
Paul Carrack Piano, Vocals
Chris Thomas Keyboards
Andrew Bodnar Bass Guitar, Vocals
Billy Bremner Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Martin Chambers Drums, Vocals
Malcolm Foster Bass Guitar, Vocals
Chrissie Hynde Guitar, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh Guitar, Vocals
Chris E. Thomas Keyboards
Tony Butler Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
Chris Thomas Audio Production
Martin Chambers Composer
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Ben Edmonds Liner Notes
Berry Gordy Jr. Composer
Chrissie Hynde Composer
Bill Inglot Reissue Producer, Remastering
Rachel Gutek Art Direction
Richard Poindexter Composer
Robert Poindexter Composer
Janie Bradford Composer
Jackie Members Composer
Chris E. Thomas Producer
Daniel Hersch Remastering
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