Pretenders (1980)
Album by The Pretenders (credited on the album as Pretenders)
Sire Records

The band:
Chrissie Hynde (guitars, vocals)
Pete Farndon (bass, vocals)
James Honeyman-Scott (guitars, keyboards, vocals)
Martin Chambers (drums, vocals)
Chris Thomas (additional keyboards & manual effects)

This the The Pretenders' debut album, widely considered to be their best, even though wharfinger prefers Pretenders II. A combination of Hynde's punk and Beatles interests combined with Honeyman-Scott's musicality to produce a new sound, which Chrissie would later call that "Pretenders sound".

The front and back album cover pictures give an interesting look at the personality of the group. On the front, all four members are standing. Pete in his black leather jacket. Chrissie looking tough in a red leather jacket, Martin in a suit jacket and loose tie, looking happy to be there, and oh-so-cool Jimmy looking over the top of his shades.

The back cover tells a different story. They are all wearing the same outfits as in the front cover picture. Pete looks like he's flicking the dandruff off his jacket. Chrissie is leaning down (you cannot see her face) and motherly straightening the cuff of Pete's pants. Jimmy is standing in the back, seemingly alone (or is it aloof?), and Martin is laughing and pointing at Chrissie.


Precious (3:34)
The Phone Call (2:27)
Up The Neck (4:24)
Tattooed Love Boys (2:58)
Space Invader (3:28) (Pete Farndon/James Honeyman-Scott)
The Wait (3:34) (Chrissie Hynde/Pete Farndon)
Stop Your Sobbing (2:38) (Ray Davies)
Kid (3:04)
Private Life (6:23)
Brass In Pocket (3:01) (Chrissie Hynde/James Honeyman-Scott)
Lovers of Today (5:50)
Mystery Achievement (5:23)

All songs written by Chrissie Hynde except as indicated.

All tracks produced by Chris Thomas except "Stop Your Sobbing" produced by Nick Lowe.


Highest Chart Position (UK): (album) #1
RIAA certified Gold: 06/02/80
RIAA certified Platinum: 08/11/82
Village Voice Albums of the Year (1980): 4
Melody Maker Albums of the Year (1980): listed
Sounds Albums of the Year (1980): 5
Top of the Pops - The Best of the Album Chartmaker (1980): 20
Rolling Stone 5-star Album (1983): listed
World Rock Critics' Lists Best albums of all time (compliled by Paul Gambaccini, 1987): 62
Rolling Stone - Top 100 albums of the last 20 years: 42
Rolling Stone - The 100 Greatest Albums of the 80's: 20
Bill Shapiro - Top 100 Rock Compact Discs (1991): listed
Jimmy Guterman - The 100 Best Rock and Roll Records of All Time (1992): 33
The Times (UK) - The 100 Best Albums of All Time (1993): 69
Musik Express/Sounds - The 100 Masterpieces (1993) : 88
Spin - 100 Alternative Albums: 32
BigO - The 100 Best Albums from 1975 to 1995 (1995): 98
Radio WXPN - The 100 Most Progressive Albums (1996): 67
Viceversa - 100 Rock Albums (1996): 80
Rolling Stone - The Essential 200 Rock Records (1997): listed
The Guardian - 100 Best Albums Ever (1997): 96
Rolling Stone (Germany) - The Best Albums of 5 decades (1997): 79
Berlin Media - The 100 Best Albums of All Time (1998): 65
Gear - The 100 Greatest Albums of the Century (1999): 72
The Rough Guide - Rock - 100 Essential CDs (1999): listed
Rock & Folk - The Best Albums from 1963 to 1999 (1999): listed
AMG All Music Guide - Best Albums by Year: listed
Elvis Costello - 500 Albums You Need (2000): listed
Guitarist - 101 Essential Guitar Albums (2000): 11
The Sun (Canada) - The Best Albums from 1971 to 2000 (2001): listed
VH1 100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll (2001): 52

Album liner notes