At the turn of the 1980s, The Pretenders announced themselves to the world with what is widely regarded as one of the greatest debut albums of all time. They cemented their status as one of the most exciting bands around with their follow-up album “Pretenders II,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
In November, the Pretenders’ first two albums will be celebrated in two new deluxe 3CD editions curated by Chrissie Hynde and will be available at all music retailers. Both albums will be available on limited edition red and white vinyl, respectively, as well as a special numbered print based on the cover of the single “Brass In Pocket” limited to 500 copies worldwide, available exclusively on rhino.com.
Organized by Hynde, Pretenders and Pretenders II are each presented in stunning deluxe 12×12 3CD sets, including a high-quality book with all-new liner notes by acclaimed journalist Will Hodgkinson. They also include a myriad of rare and never-before-seen photos of the band, both beautiful and candid.
The deluxe edition contains the original album remastered by Chris Thomas, plus demos, rarities and plenty of live performances. These include BBC sessions on the Kid Jensen Show and performances at the Paris Theatre, London and Paradise in Boston. For those unaware, Pretenders’ first release came almost a year before the album’s release, with their first Top 40 single, a cover of The Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing” produced by Nick Lowe.
Next came ‘Kid’, another UK Top 40 hit and their first originally written single. Following the two singles would come one of Pretenders biggest tracks to date, “Brass in Pocket”. Leading with a glorious guitar beat embodied by a luscious chorus, “Brass in Pocket” took the band to a different level, with the track reaching No. 1 in the UK, Ireland, Sweden and South Africa, as well as the Top 5 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand and more. It was also a hit in the United States, peaking at #14 and becoming the 7th music video aired on MTV.
The album continues to be highly acclaimed to this day, consistently appearing on the top charts of the 1980s, as well as being certified Platinum in the US and Gold in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and New Zealand.
In the year between “Pretenders” and “Pretenders II”, the group continued their momentum by releasing two singles in the UK, “Talk of the Town” and “Message of Love”, the former reaching number 8. place and the second in 8th place. 11 in the UK charts. Appetite in the US also continued, with the release of an EP simply named EP, containing five tracks that would later appear on the ‘Pretenders II’ album.
With demand for more Pretenders material, “Pretenders II” was released on August 15, 1981, to much fanfare. The album would eventually reach No. 7 in the UK and No. 10 in the US, being certified Silver and Gold respectively in the process. Other highlights of the album include another The Kinks cover, in the form of “I Go to Sleep”.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week it’s something from a girl who not only had a great shadow to escape, but did it with a ton of stomping.
NANCY SINATRA: “BOOTS”
She had a big shadow to grow up in, but Nancy Sinatra delivered an inimitable debut LP in Boots. Originally released in 1966, the million-selling album not only catapulted the singer, actress, activist and cultural icon’s career, but its grooves feature enduring anthems of empowerment that continue to resonate with new audiences today. and no sign of slowing down.
Sinatra scored a No. 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic with “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” which earned three Grammy nominations and sold over a million copies. Vinyl setups of this release feature records pressed at Record Technology, Inc (RTI) and come in expanded gatefold packaging featuring fully restored cover artwork from the original, iconic album photography taken by Ed Thrasher . The accompanying 20-page booklet features a new Q&A with Nancy by Grammy-nominated co-producer Hunter Lea, and a treasure trove of never-before-seen photos from Sinatra’s personal archives.
In addition to the standard black wax, special editions in limited edition colored vinyl, all available at nancysinatra.com. This year marks the 55th anniversary of “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and coincides with the announcement of the re-release is the debut of an updated version of the original 1966 music video with restored video and newly remastered audio. .
The boots can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com