Its 1:10 am, I think. It’s late,I know.
I’m tired and I’m once again in the air. I have been to 3 countries and 6 cities in four days. The best thing about corporate travel is I dont have to wear a fucking mask when I fly. It fucks up my makeup and fucking god forbid you wear earrings of any decent size, its like face macrame. I’m surrounded by corporate fellas, those man spread douchebags who take up 5 seats with legs so wide spread they should give birth. I hate them. I used to smile and pretend I didn’t – I no longer do. I don’t have to- the glass ceiling has transformed into the diamonds in my bracelet. What the fuck does that have to do the The Pretenders latest offerning .. the Cheeseburger Deluxe 2021 mega double disc … double click .. fuck just get me a double anything at this point..
Chrissie Hynde has been my idol since I saw her boy body and wished it were mine. Her sharp jaw. The fringe is just long enough to act as a human shield- keep away, like a forcefield. She walked with confidence and a subtle power that commanded attention- surrounded by men who strutted and preened. She owned them, she oozed control and confidence, no sexpot damsel. She maintained composure in a male dominated field-She was power she was beautiful and she had fucking pipes- and she was and remains an asshole. Oh how I adore her.
In 1980 when the first Pretenders album was released (in the US) you either loved it or you hated it and I obviously loved it. It started with the bang of Precious “not me baby I’m too precious- fuck off” was a cool thing to sing in the hallway, when you have no self esteem. Hell between the fringe and the fuck off, I built that wall thick.
With the imagery from MTVs repetition Tatooed Love Boys fuled that teenage lust, cuz seriously folks who wouldnt have wanted to fuck the hell out of Pete Farndon? Lord have mercy…the album was a masterpiece and remains so to this day.
Pretenders Deluxe is a time capsule- and for a 50 something it’s nostalgia that actually teleports back to when neon was everywhere and your biggest problem was how to slide past the bouncers. And even now decades later with an airpod jammed into my brain and one ear exposed pretending to listen to these joe business knobs.. I have Chrissie crying in my ear ‘all of the stars in the sky twinkle in babies eyes’… and its a strobe light of distorted images of gut wrenching pain and the broken hearts and flashing memories of errors but Im looking out a window and all there really is the blip of the wing light… and the hum of the engine and the throat clearing and the clinking of ice. Dream baby all night long…
See the best part of a rerelease is you get to time travel, though that can also be the worse part. Depends on the day.
But wait- there’s MORE- like those old KTel records this release does not dice slice and make juliens but it does offer up some fantastic demo’s- but are they really? Let’s just lay this out right now before we go any further- the worst song The Pretenders recorded was Brass in Pocket- it sucks, it’s not Chrissie’s image and if it were the only song I’d ever heard by the band, they wouldn’t get this many keystrokes. Good news for consistency: the demo blows just as hard as the final cut. That being said the Stop your Sobbin, the Suicide, and the Police inspire “ROX anne”, and the start of Kid, (how clever) are divine.. In a rush? Hit up the Demos, they are where the action is. Seriously, a couple skips tops.
I gotta say “ I Go To Sleep..”, kills me-the demo has less gut wrench, for that I am grateful The ‘official’ version is filled with despair, ‘the demo’ pace is wrong. “ I was wrong, I will cry I will love you til the day I die’, yeah
One more observation- on the wtf side of things- “I Can’t Control Myself” should remove the T, she can, she does and it’s painful to hear Chrissie attempt to sound…sultry? I don’t know the word, it’s too uncomfortable. Like just no, it’s a mismatch
I have written before about my lack of love for Live albums. I hate the crowd, the “WOOOOO” the clap alongs, the sing alongs the ‘group’ feel- but hold up- this works offering us both Boston and London, I’m pretty sure is Chrissies psychic nod to my dual residences in the NorthEast US and recently acquired tiny flat in Giddy London, I take smug pride in the choices for the live portion of this release.
But not so fast, it’s a God awful version of “Cuban Slide”, too fast, too distorted and as a BBC offering I cringe. While the Boston version returns to the more robust and deeper toned version- much better. That’s the fun, the side by side comparison of gigs, could she be playing to the audience, altering the pace and tone of her voice to suit the crowd? Or am I just overthinking it? Too much live? Not at all, just right and perfectly paired if ya ask me. To be fair, the BBC Session Tattooed Love Boys blows the Boston version away. When I get some time (if) and when the jet lag settles I intend on creating a side by side playlist of these gems.
The Pretenders are 50% dead. Martin Chambers looks like Joe Biden with giant sideburns. Chrissie sells bad art and does voice work (have ya seen 1971 on Apple TV yet? Run don’t walk to your nearest remote) She has a 2022 calendar of her bad art on preorder – and I ordered it. She’s blonde, she’s old and from all accounts she’s a raving bitch. #Goals.
Her Dylan work- nah Her pseudo vegan but I drink happy cow milk is utterly (udderly?) absurd.
But know what- she’s still my idol and as I check my watch for the 20000 time wondering when I can get away from this corporate scene. I offer up a snarky response to some profound idiot
I realize that maybe,just maybe I’m a little bit more Chrissie than I ever realized I could be.
The Pretenders 1980 B+
Live BBC London B
Live Boston A
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