The first two albums by the Pretenders are being presented as new expanded editions on Nov. 5, with rare and unreleased material curated by bandleader Chrissie Hynde.
As the '70s punk movement crashed through the '80s, a cadre of bands around the world found new ways to rock. One of the most potent new groups of the new decade was the Pretenders, formed in London by Hynde - an Ohio native who brought a female perspective to the mostly male-dominated scene.
Unlike most of their punk contemporaries, the Pretenders - originally consisting of Hynde, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon and drummer Martin Chambers - enjoyed as much success on the U.S. charts as they did in England. The band's self-titled debut produced a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic: the slinky "Brass in Pocket." Other classics included "Kid," "Precious" and a cover of The Kinks' "Stop Your Sobbing." Follow-up Pretenders II fared equally well thanks to favorites like "Message of Love," "Talk of the Town" and another Kinks cover, "I Go to Sleep." (Within two years, Hynde would give birth to a child with Davies.)
The deluxe editions of both albums (each newly remastered by original album producer Chris Thomas) are 3CD sets packed with bonus material, including B-sides, demos, BBC radio sessions and four live concerts recorded between 1979 and 1981. It all comes inside LP sleeve-sized packaging, with new liner notes by journalist Will Hodgkinson and rare and unseen photos inside each booklet. For vinyl fans, colored pressings of each original album will be available (red for Pretenders and white for Pretenders II) - as will a special numbered print based on the "Brass in Pocket" single, limited to only 500 copies.