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Learning to Crawl [Bonus Tracks]
     

Learning to Crawl [Bonus Tracks]

by Pretenders
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2007
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227999872
catalogNumber:
101058
Rank:
9796

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pretenders   Primary Artist
Paul Carrack   Piano,Vocals
Chris Thomas   Keyboards
Andrew Bodnar   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Billy Bremner   Acoustic 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   Composer
Chrissie Hynde   Composer
Bill Inglot   Reissue Producer
Rachel Gutek   Art Direction
Richard Poindexter   Composer
Robert Poindexter   Composer
Janie Bradford   Composer
Jackie Members   Composer
Chris E. Thomas   Producer

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