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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 13 Nov 2006
It's great to see this astonishing debut finally get the CD re-release and remastering that it deserves. Few debut albums - and not that many albums full stop - can match the stellar combination of Hynde's intelligent lyrics and excellent guitar work, backed up by the brilliantly tight contributions from the rest of the band. James Honeyman-Scott's guitar work stands out in particular. His work here - and on the equally impressive second Pretenders' album - stands out as some of the best and most innovative playing of the post punk era, which has influenced the great Johnny Marr, among many others. On its own, the reissue of the original album is a great purchase - with a fascinating bonus disc of demos and live performances, it's a must have.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album Made Even Better, 10 Dec 2007
By 
Geoffrey Millar (Brunswick Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This collection is what every re-issue should be about: put the original album on one CD, remaster it to give improved sound, and then add a nice disc of rare and interesting material. And give it a sensible price.

The album itself is simply one of the greatest debuts ever, but the demos and live tracks are not just filler. While some tracks were available in the vinyl era on various 45s and EPs, most are unreleased. The remastered sound is much improved over the existing issue and sounds more like the LP, which in this case is all for the best.

This is the first in a series of re-issues of Pretenders CDs and I look forward to the rest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut LP, 17 Sep 2010
This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
Chrissie Hynde had been working in the UK (after travelling from her hometown in Ohio earlier in the decade), but had finally created a perfect rock band with this original line-up.
Arguably, this was the best Pretenders line-up and after the loss of two founding members and their second album, they deteriorated.
This album starts with the upbeat rocker 'Precious' (which does contain explicit lyrics but infrequently) and continues into the second track at a similar tempo.
Third track and the tempo slows down slightly but not to the extreme of a ballad or anything. Suddenly the album has changed pace and become more melodic and lyrical, and also showing signs of Hynde and co's songwriting skills. Also, the band is very tight and firing on all cylinders throughout.
The album speeds up again and by track number five, we have a non-vocal instrumental which fits in with the tempo of the album fine.
It's not until the second side (if it were a LP) or track seven, that the famous hits or soon-to-be hits kick in.
The band's successful version of the Kinks' original tune 'Stop Your Sobbing' (original, written by the man who would later become Hynde's boyfriend in the early eighties, Ray Davies, is to be found on their self-titled debut album') morphs perfectly into an even bigger hit, written by Hynde - Kid.
This side includes a couple of slower tracks but they always rock (including some very fine guitar work). It always includes the hit Brass In Pocket; which may have been annoyingly overplayed to many, but it fits in just fine within the realms of this excellent debut.
Unlike many of the later Pretenders' albums which depended on the songwriting and vocals of Hynde, this debut is about the band as a whole and it is the Pretenders that are the stars, not just Miss Hynde. This really is an excellent debut album which largely rocks throughout and provides a mixture of big hits and out-and-out punky rock tunes, all with those famously expressive Hynde vocals and lyrics.

This is probably stating the obvious but I would urge those who would like to buy this album to perhaps think about the remastered (also expanded) version instead as it would undoubtedly provide better quality than the first recording.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop your sobbing, here's the perfect rock album..., 30 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
As I sit in my room with the Pretenders' self-titled debut playing at full blast I can distinctly recall one person's description of this LP: "the (album's) provocative, sexually candid lyrics and hard -charging beat are like a drug."
In fact, those last 3 words are probably the closest description anyone could EVER give of this amazing debut. It certainly had me pressing the 'repeat' button on my stereo.
If, (like I did at first) you've been avoiding the Pretenders cuz you think they're a bunch of arena-rock dinosaurs, then SHAME ON YOU! One spin through this CD will prove you wrong.
It has to be said that things went tragically downhill after the unfortunate deaths of the fantastic Pete Farndon (bass) and James Honeyman-Scott (guitar) and really, this is the best Pretenders album.
On the first half of the disc, Chrissie's a sneering, leather-clad, kick-a** punk-rocker b****. Six tracks of snarling, biting attitude; dirty, pounding rock spat out like broken teeth. No 'special mentions' here; they're all absolutely brilliant.
Although the second side is a lot softer in comparison (perhaps with the exception of 'Mystery Achievement'- to quote another reviewer- a 'rock tour-de-force' if there ever was one) it's just as fantastic. The band maintains their attitude while at the same time being tender and melodic ('Stop Your Sobbing', 'Kid'), plaintive yet beautiful ('Lovers Of Today') and sardonic and cynical ('Private Life'). Most people will know 'Brass In Pocket', a vampy, slow rock song that drips with confidence. This was a massive no. 1 single that really launched the Pretenders. Although it may now have become too overplayed for some, like all the other tracks, I love it.
Bottom line: if you like good rock music (or, in fact, just music)- BUY THIS NOW!!!!!! And to all Pretenders fans out there that DON'T own this CD- well, you don't like the Pretenders, then, do you now?
One final note: 'Pretenders' is one of those albums that needs to be played at full, wall-shaking, speaker-bursting volume. You truly cannot appreciate this amazing music until it is LOUD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album remastered, 20 Feb 2013
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This was a great album when it first hit the shops in 1980/81, Side 1 consisted of the first 7 tracks heard here and every one is brilliant. The 5 remaining tracks are also good especially Kid and Private Life. The sound on this re-mastered version is superb and the bonus disc has 2 B- sides from the singles from the Pretenders II album as well as demo's and live recordings from the above album a great buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great album., 15 Aug 2010
Great songs.
The original release was more than good enough,
but with the extras, this is even better.
Top notch
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Debut Album, 3 Jan 2006
By 
This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
Usually when it comes to critics lists of classic debut albums, one album tends to be ignored, The Pretenders. Perhaps they're not seen as hip enough but there's no doubt The Pretenders debut is worthy of classic status. 12 great tracks which showcased the songwriting talent of Chrissie Hynde. What's more she had a great voice, one of the great female voices of the last 30 years. She adopts a rock chic image for most of these songs but there's more to her than a Pamela Des Barres archetype. There's a deep sensitivity in Lovers Of Today and Kid, while Private Life, brilliantly covered by Grace Jones, shows a mocking disregard for crass sentimentality. Rockers such as Precious, The Phone Call and Wait display the remnants of her punk past, and Mystery Achievement fuses rock with Motown to provide a thrilling climax to a wonderful album. Chrissie Hynde is a strong woman, you only have to listen to the attitude she adopts in the songs, and this strength was tested to the limit after the tragic deaths of band members James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farndon within months of each other. The band continued but were never to reach the heights of this album again. A great singles band but savour this, their one and only masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic album from my youth, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
One of my all time favourite albums from one of the best bands from the post punk late 70s era. Chrissie Hynde has a wonderfully sultry voice and the guitar work from James Honeyman-Scott still sounds fresh today. The CD reissue is bolstered with loads of additional tracks (live, demos, bsides). Every song from the original release track listing is fantastic. I love the way the album weaves from hard caustic rock like album opener Precious to gentler and more subtle numbers such as Kid and Private Life. An absolute classic album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brings back some great memories., 23 May 2014
This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
Rushed out and bought the vinyl after seeing them live in Coventry about the time of release and replaced it with the 1st CD release (without any extra's etc) as soon as it was available which was timed perfectly as the vinyl was on its death bed. Not played too much nowadays but always brings back some very fond memories when I do, particularly 'Space Invaders' as I must have spent a small fortune on those damn machines. Bet I'm not alone either? This is a great debut and I've always felt that regardless of the popularity of later releases this was never bettered. Stand out tracks have to be 'Precious', 'The Wait', 'The Phone Call' and 'Lovers of Today' plus of course 'Space Invaders'. In fact the whole thing is packed with infectious tunes. The tight musicianship also provides an excellent back-drop to Chrissies sultry vocal style. What's more back then it played for a decent length of time as well - approx 48 mins when many others thought 35 mins or so was OK. Best played loud.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 6 May 2014
By 
G. Georgiou (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Pretenders (Audio CD)
A great debut album from a great performer, singer, songwriter and credit to her at the time for keeping it together when losing two great musicians/band members and continuing to produce great music to this day when many of her peer group have bloated and bored us or dropped off this mortal coil. Go girl.
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