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Pretenders II (Expanded & Remastered)

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iTunes Review

For their second album, The Pretenders pretty much redoubled the songcraft and the sentiments of their pop-crunching debut but added some musical restraint and life experience. (A year or more of relentless touring and chart successes can mean a lot in the hands of a great songwriter; just listen to “Day After Day.”) Like any truly great rock ’n’ roller, band frontwoman Chrissie Hynde could soothe and rock. Here she spins a melancholy childhood yarn involving “catching frogs in ditches and listening for elves” (“Birds of Paradise”) and then turns around and rails on an idiot punk (“Bad Boys Get Spanked”). Then, as if offering recompense for songwriting lessons learned, Hynde curtsies to one of the greatest songwriters ever by covering Ray Davies’ wonderful Kinks demo “I Go to Sleep” (the band previously covered The Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing”). This 1981 album’s two massive hits, “Talk of the Town” and “Message of Love,” bottleneck everything tight and tender about the band, which would soon be struck with tragedy when both guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon died of drug overdoses.

Customer Reviews

Louie Louie Had His Day.... and Something Changed The Live Concert

Im 13 years old and i like The Pretenders..... Mostly because nobody at school knows who they are and cant really say anything even though we are all indians so about a third of the classes are cousins and other relatives... and we have a lunch lady that sorta looks like chrissie hynde... anyway I am a guy so im not really in to stuff like Bad Boys Get Spanked (it was awkward just to type that) and the adultress but i like the guitar stuff like the live takes of talk of the town, brass in pocket (more of a girly song but it grows on you), private life. i guess all of the live stuff. but my all time favorite pretenders song ever... ever just ever is louie louie... and the guitar in the live version is great. but i bought the live tricks here about 2 weeks ago and it was awful not the songs of course but when i played them they didnt really seem like they were in order. one song would be over and then the audience got quiet then retty soon out of nowhere they would be goin crazy and it would play the next song. it never transitioned over. does anyone else have this problem? is it just itunes? or was i the only poor sap in the world to get a crappy cut out live concert by the way what happened to the itunes pretenders live in london show i was gonna buy that

Jimmy and Pete shine live, God Bless The Pretenders

The extended guitar solo at the end of the live version of 'Kid' is just so beautiful. Simple and perfect. It's what the recording always hinted satisfying. The late great founding members Jimmy Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon were close. They play so well on the live material and Chrissie Hynde's singing sounds just as special as it does on the album. Chrissie once said of Jimmy "He really was the Pretenders sound. I don't sound like that. When I met him, I was this not-very melodic punky angry guitar player and singer and Jimmy was the melodic one. He brought out all the melody in me." The first two albums STILL sound amazing. Pretenders One just reaches out and grabs you in the way that only Chrissie and the boys can ('Precious' 'Tattooed Love Boys' 'Private Life'), and Pretenders II all around is just hypnotizingly beautiful. ('The English Roses' 'Talk of the Town' 'I go to Sleep') . God Bless Chrissie Hynde, Rock In Peace Jimmy and Pete, God Bless the Pretenders!

Without question, without qualification

I recently bought remastered Pretenders I and II. Astounding. A fan from back in the day, but these two purchases have elevated me to some higher level of admiration. My pertient comment is this: Any idea that the bonus disc on Pretenders II is inferior to the bonus disc on Pretenders II is rubbish. I hesitated before purchasing the remastered Pretenders II when I read the reviewer's comments about its great-but-not-as-good quality versus Pretenders I. If anything, the reverse is true. The 15 songs from the 1981 show at the Santa Monica Civic Center have me working without a break on a time machine. Buy 55 copies of this album and just take a bath in its genius.


Formed: 1978 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Over the years, the Pretenders became a vehicle for guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde's songwriting, yet it was a full-fledged band when it was formed in the late '70s. With their initial records, the group crossed the bridge between punk/new wave and Top 40 pop more than any other band, recording a series of hard, spiky singles that were also melodic and immediately accessible. Hynde was an invigorating, sexy singer who bent the traditional male roles of rock & roll to her own liking, while guitarist...
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