The Pretenders will release their eleventh studio album, Hate for Sale, this coming Friday, 40 years after their eponymous first album. And at 68 Chrissie Hynde is still one of the most compelling voices in rock & roll. We’re not talking “can still sort of sing the old stuff”, we’re talking “good as ever”.
The line-up for this album includes Chrissie and drummer Martin Chambers from the original Pretenders line-up. It’s guitarist James Walbourne’s third album with the band since he joined the group in 2008. Every one of the tracks released so far are great. The title track has old school punk attitude, “Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely” has the Bo Diddley beat, and “The Buzz” sounds like classic-era Pretenders to my ear. But this post is about Chrissie’s singing, so give a listen to “You Can’t Hurt a Fool”.
Had it not been for the pandemic, the album would have been released earlier this year, and the Pretenders would be on tour. But making the best of a bad situation, Hynde and Walbourne took inspiration from Bob Dylan’s release of his new album to do some home recordings of Dylan covers. This cover of “Standing in the Doorway” is gorgeous. I think Bob should give this song to Chrissie and James for keeps.
After this year’s cancelled tour, the Pretender’s website teases at concert date in late September 2021. To get you ready for their return, here’s Chrissie belting out the anthem “I’ll Stand by You” just 12 months ago.
Some famous female vocalists have new music out, and a great new singer has arrived on the scene.
Rosanne Cash, eldest daughter of Johnny and superstar in her own right, released “The River and the Thread” in January. The album has received its share of good reviews, and the first track is “A Feather’s Not a Bird”. The album’s producer is Rosanne’s husband John Leventhal, who also co-wrote all the songs and plays lead guitar on this performance. If you like the video below, check out this studio performance of “The Long Way Home” with John backing Rosanne on acoustic guitar.
Perhaps the best Rock & Roll frontwoman ever is Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Almost 35 years after “Brass in Pocket” launched the band’s career, Chrissie is about to release her first solo album. “Stockholm” is due out in June, and the first single “Dark Sunglasses” has been released. Unfortunately, the video shows us no Chrissie, just a bunch of folks wearing – you guessed it. If you want to see Chrissie front the Pretenders in their heyday, 30 years ago, check out the other video too. The video quality isn’t great, but don’t you wish you’d been there?
Back in October we wrote about Lake Street Dive covering a Jackson Five tune. The band is now out with a new full-length LP “Bad Self Portraits” that is fresh and absolutely delightful from start to finish. The band’s lead singer, Rachel Price, has a great voice and a unique style that propels the band’s range of jazz, soul and R&B tunes. Here is the title track from the new album, and “You Go Down Smooth”.