The Verdict: It’s fantastic to listen to this Rhino reissue of The Pretenders debut in the here and now of late 2006. Let me gush for a moment; if this album dropped today it would be a massive “indie-rock” missile on the unwashed hipster masses. Boom.

Released in 1979/80, Chrissie Hynde, an American ex-pat, and her band of Brits created one of the finest post-punk infused, new wave, rock & roll albums of their time. Listening to it 25+ years after it’s release, as a whole, in light of the resurgence of this “sound” the past five years, only magnifies it’s dominance. The band merged a reverence of the roots of rock & roll converged with the attitude and freedom of the original punk rock movement. If you, like me, were barely out of diapers when this first came out, check it out, or at least download a few MP3s. While the band never critically recovered after the loss in early ’80s of it’s original line-up, the first two albums kill.

This reissue (like most Rhino product) comes packed with a second disc made up of the demos from the sessions, which are great in their own right. Also, if you get your hands on this, check out the b-sides and five live tracks tacked on the end of disc two. New wave haircut and outfit not included.

MP3: The Pretenders :: Precious
MP3: The Pretenders :: Brass In Pocket (demo)
Amazon: The Pretenders – Reissue
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Pretenders MP3s.

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