The Pretenders Biography

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The PretendersThe Pretenders is an Anglo-American rock band that was founded by its main songwriter and vocalist Chrissie Hynde. Hynde, who originally hailed from Akron, Ohio but relocated in the UK in 1973, formed the band in 1978 in Hereford, England. Bassist Pete Farndon was the first to join the band and was followed by guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and drummer Martin Chambers.

The band was signed to Real Records in 1978 based on their demo song "The Phone Call". In 1979, the band did a single, "Stop Your Sobbing" that quickly brought them some critical acclaim. It was then followed by singles that became popular, most notably their "Brass in Pocket" which was able to crack into the US market by placing number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The band’s self titled album debut was released in January of 1980 and was well received in both the UK and in the US. The album eventually was certified platinum and went on to become one of the most highly regarded albums in rock and roll. One of the factors that was said to give the band the success it enjoyed was due to its hard rocking female lead. Hynde was seen as a draw that appealed to both genders.

The band then went to release their second album Pretenders II in august of 1981. This album wasn’t as well received as their first album. But it eventually became one of the band’s noted albums. Just as the band was enjoying the peak of their success, problems with drugs led to a fracture of the band. Pete Farndon was kicked out of the band by Hynde for drug problems in 1982. Just two days later, Honeyman-Scott died of an apparent drug overdose.

Despite the trials that followed, Hynde and The Pretenders moved on. Hynde hired the services of guitarist Billy Bremmer and bassist Tony Butler and later on, Malcolm Foster, to complete the band. In 1983, the band released two singles that showed a new kind of sophistication in the band brought about by the new band members. 1984 saw the band coming up with their third album Learning to Crawl. The band followed the release with a subsequent tour that culminated with the performance at Live Aid in 1985.

The next album to come out was Get Close in 1986 which was basically an album largely penned by Hynde. This album also was the first album with a new lineup for the band as Chambers and Foster were led out of the band. This new lineup didn’t last long though and was marred with several problems until 1987. By then, the band has become a vehicle for Hynde.

The band went on a hiatus and returned in 1990 with a new line up to release another album Packed! that didn’t do well. 1994 saw the band releasing another album, Last of the Independents. This time the band received considerable commercial success and earned a hit single, "I’ll Stand By You".

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