The Pretenders – Tattooed Love Boys – Live In Concert 1981
I grew up with a generally favorable impression of the Pretenders. “Brass In Pocket” blew up right around the time I was in 6th grade, and from then on I found I liked most of the songs, and seemed to understand that the Prentenders were a critical success as well. I’m not sure how I knew that, given I probably didn’t even know what a music critic was. But I knew the Pretenders were not, say, the Knack, or Kajagoogoo. The Pretenders were legit.
I only heard the singles until after college, when I started buying the records. Unfortunately the original band was short-lived (2 records) due to the drug OD deaths of James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon about 8 months apart. I’ve come to appreciate that as one of the great rock and roll tragedies. Honeyman-Scott’s guitar work and interplay with Chrissy Hynde really gave the Pretenders some punch.
The other strengths they had were great songs and a great frontwoman in Hynde. She’s got an expressive voice with a lot of range, and she definitely carries her weight on guitar. Plus, she wrote most all of the songs. I think she’s a giant badass, and in general I think she and her band been overlooked a bit by history. Well, that’s actually hard to say, given they are in the Hall of Fame.
Still, it seems like I know very few people who listen to the Pretenders. I think that’s wrong.
Here they are doing Tattooed Love Boys live in 1981. Honeyman-Scott dies about a year later of cocaine. (Farndon’s was herion.) Hynde regrouped, replaced half her band, (divorced Ray Davies, married Jim Kerr of Simple Minds) and in about a year and a half wrote and recorded Learning to Crawl, which was a small part of the 1984/1985 radio landscape that was actually good, and it sounds better today than ever.
Very Good Band.
This is from one of the great albums of all time. Love it! And you are right: Learning to Crawl was another great album. Not as great as this one, though.
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