It's 1980, and hammocked between the waning days of Disco, the growing artifice of Punk and a pre-natal MTV lurking just over the horizon, the music world seemed to be wresting through a significant upheaval that witnessed a new infusion of raw grit from Great Britain (Costello, Clash) but unfortunately, remained caught in the gravitational pull of cash flow dinosaurs like The Knack, Peter Frampton and Supertramp who lingered like an overweening FM virus.
Thankfully, just when the entire scene seemed given over to the mohawked bad boys, soon to be made-for-video poseurs and thirty minute drum solos, hard rock veered back from the abyss in no small measure by the sonic toughness of The Pretender's eponymous debut album. The entire disc was a shot over the bow of complacency and manufactured attitude - I still can remember wearing through the grooves of Mystery Achievement and thinking that all is not lost.
Fast forward three decades and The Pretenders, Live in London hits me in just the same mood - except that by comparison to the vacant rictus that seems to define music in 2010 - Peter Frampton would now be considered a Beethovian talent. Fortunately for us, Chrissie Hynde is still the baddest girl in rock and has not lost a jack-booted octave to time or ennui - still consuming the stage and all of the oxygen around her. The Pretenders remain loud, muscular and sinewous, even on some of the newer songs like Chinese Plastic which in a more just world would have easily been a hit.
A rough and ready five stars!
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Michael Neiss (NJExit34)
Jun 25, 2009
Jun 10, 2011 01:38 PM UTC
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Deluxe two disc (CD/DVD) edition includes bonus DVD. With millions of albums sold and their place in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame solidified, The Pretenders are a special band with a special place in history. Pretenders-Live in London captures one of their many electrifying performances from their 2009 world tour. The CD captures 20 of The Pretenders biggest hits, including 'Kid', 'Back On The Chain Gang', 'Middle Of The Road', 'Brass In Pocket' and many more. The DVD features 24 tracks.