Stop Your Sobbing
Released in January 1979. This is the song that got me into the Pretenders and I’ve followed them ever since. Originally written by Ray Davies who said it was written about a former girlfriend. As fate would have it Chrissie and Ray had a relationship and had a daughter together. The video looks as though it was filmed in a rehearsal room. The Pretenders honing their skills.
Released in June 1979. The video was filmed at a fair and Chrissie said of it “It’s about a prostitute whose son finds out what she does for a living and this is her having a conversation with him. Not all songs are autobiographical”. It reached #33 in the UK charts
Brass In Pocket
Released in late 1979 Brass In Pocket reached #1 in the UK charts for 2 weeks in January 1980. The video features Chrissie as a waitress. With Pete, Martin and James as patrons. Chrissie looks to be pining after Pete. James is seen snogging Sally James of Tiswas fame.
Talk Of The Town
Released in April 1980 the song reached #8 on the UK charts. In the Songwriters Circle in 1999 Chrissie said this “I had in mind this kid who used to stand outside the soundchecks on our first tour… I never spoke to him. I remember that the last time I saw him I just left him standing in the snow, I never had anything to say to him. I kind of wrote this for him, so, in the unlikely event that you’re watching this, I did think about you.“
Message Of Love
Released in February 1981 the song reached #11 in the UK charts and #5 in the US mainstream rock. According to drummer Martin Chambers, the song was largely formed in the studio based on a rough sketch presented by Hynde. Chambers explained, “We never really got into the studio without any rehearsal and recorded a song, but we have done that once and that was ‘Message of Love’. … Chrissie likes to come to the band when she has a song finished in her mind … but this time she hadn’t really finished it and so we just … rehearsed it already set up in the studio and it was on tape in two hours, basically.” The song, as bassist Pete Farndon said, initially featured multiple sound effects (among them were sounds of car accidents recorded by the band on Paris streets) but most of them were removed from the final released version
I Go To Sleep
Released in November 1981 the song reached #7 in the UK charts. The video features the band as with a lot of them just playing, the video starts with each band member fading in and then at the end fading out.
Day After Day
Taken from Pretenders II album it reached #45 in the UK charts. The video shows the band arriving in the US and travelling to a venue, before appearing on stage.
Back On The Chain Gang
Taken from the album Learning To Crawl. The video features Chrissie on a busy London bridge with Martin walking in the crowds. The song was recorded in July 1982 only a month after James Honeyman- Scotts passing and after firing Pete Farndon.
Released in November 1983 the song reached #15 in the UK Charts. The video shows the original lineup travelling on a tour bus in B&W, interspersed with colour footage of Pretenders MK2 (Robbie & Malcolm) this video first appeared on The Singles VHS.
Middle Of The Road
Released in the UK in February 1984 and taken from the album Learning to Crawl. The song had little chart success. The video features the band on a made-up music show where there is a stage invasion at the end.
Thin Line Between Love and Hate
This is a cover of The Persuaders 1971 hit. The Pretenders reached #49 on the UK chart. The band are playing in an underground cellar. It starts with the piano keys playing by themselves, Rupert Black is featured later on playing the piano.
Don’t Get me Wrong
Released August 5th 1986 it reached #10 in the UK charts. The video features Chrissie taking on the role of Emma Peel from The Avengers and actually includes Patrick Macnee as Steed, Chrissie is superimposed in the scene.
Hymn To Her
Released in November 1986 it reached #8 on the UK charts. The song was written by Meg Keene which is one of Chrissie’s friends. The video features the band in a room with a firepit and looking like it’s snowy outside.
Released in March 1987 from the Get Close album the song didn’t do well in the UK reaching only #84. In the US it reached #1 on the US main chart. Features Blair Cunningham, TM Stevens, and Bernie Worrell in this video.
Never Do That
Released in May 1990 from the Packed album and shot in B&W. The single fared better in the US reaching #5 but only #81 in the UK. The video features Chrissie and Blair Cunningham with two guitarists in the shadows. You go to shots of Chrissie running around Paris.
Sense Of Purpose
Released in August 1990 from the Packed album and shot in B&W. The single is mainly Chrissie watching her “boyfriend” (in the video) Gary Stretch boxing and also shots of them walking together.
I’ll Stand By You
Released on the 21st July 1994 from the Last of the Independents album the song reached #10 in the UK charts. In the US Main, it reached #7. It was famously covered by Girls Aloud reaching the #1 spot in 2004. The video was different from what we had seen before with Chrissie looking after a man, stitching his clothes, and bathing him.
Night In My Veins
The second release from the Last of the Independents album. The video starts off with a guy holding up a drug store. Cutting to Chrissie walking towards a bar where Adam, Andy and Martin are playing. She takes up the microphone and starts singing. Later on joined on the stage by the man that held up the drug store earlier. It finishes with him getting arrested and Chrissie staggering out of the club. Love this song why it didn’t fare well is beyond me.
Taken from Viva El Amor the video features just Chrissie sat at a table in a hat. The song was originally recorded by the Divinyls and released in 1996.
Taken from Viva El Amor the video features the band then Adam, Andy and Martin. Chrissie is in sneering mode at other female pop stars of the time. As Chrissie says “No, they don’t make ’em like they use to. You should have just stuck with me”.
You Know Who Your Friends Are
Taken from Loose Screw the video features the band then Adam, Andy, Martin and Zeben. Shots of the band making their way to the stage, shots from the Loose In LA video, and some backstage footage plus the fans.
Boots Of Chinese Plastic
Taken from Break Up The Concrete released in October 2008 the video for Boots Of Chinese Plastic features the band then James, Nick, Martin and Eric Heywood mainly shot in silhouette. It reached #6 in the US Adult Chart.