The Pretenders – The Pretenders (1980)
I’d wager somewhere around 5% of music fans would recognize the song name Brass in Pocket.
On the other hand, upon hearing a few bars of said tune, close to the remaining 95% (myself included) would likely recognize it right away.
Even if the hit song may not have been aptly named, its lyrics summarize the parent album brilliantly.
“Gonna make you, make you, make you notice”
Heads likely turned in 1980 when within the first 40 seconds or so, Chrissie Hynde claimed to have been “shittin’ bricks.” Perhaps not classically ladylike? This was not a gal to be ignored!
“No reason just seems so pleasing”
I’ve been struggling to pinpoint why I find this album so appealing. Frankly, I can’t think of any reason not to enjoy this record.
“Gonna use my style, gonna use my side-step”
For the first several listens, I thought she was going to employ her sassy instead of her side-step. Either way, I’m sure if I’d been older than (negative) 2 years old, I’d have joined the masses with a crush on Chrissie!
“Cause I’m gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, No one like me
I’m special, so special
I gotta have some of your attention”
And my undivided attention they had. A special debut, through and through.
I also had two important realizations when listening to this:
1) Prior to the 1001 project, I thought the years between 1977-1983 were pretty lean. Thanks to albums like Parallel Lines, Sound Affects, and this one, I’m learning I was young and foolish. As a bonus, two of the three albums mentioned above feature formidable front-women; the gender ratio in my record collection is gradually becoming less lopsided!
2) A lot of my favourite records have a significant &/or sprawling penultimate track. Clocking in at 5:51, maybe it doesn’t quite qualify as a sprawl, but Lovers of Today could easily find itself in my Top 5 tunes of the 80s.