Skip to main content

Pretenders: Hate For Sale - Chrissie Hynde’s fire is undimmed

Still great Pretenders on 11th studio album Hate For Sale

Pretenders - Hate For Sale
(Image: © BMG Rights Management )

It’s now 40 years since Chrissie Hynde arrived, brandishing her unique blend of no-shit attitude, rare sensitivity and classic-pop suss, bolstered by lyrical eloquence and that unmistakable voice. 

Following 2016’s Alone and produced by Stephen Street, the eleventh Pretenders album (10 tracks running to 30 minutes) is Hynde’s first with her long-time touring band, including original drummer Martin Chambers and guitarist/songwriting partner James Walbourne. 

Hynde’s fire is undimmed as she tackles love’s drug-like addiction (single The Buzz), tears up a roughshod storm on the rockers (Turf Accountant Daddy, I Didn’t Know When To Stop) and delves into surf-guitar reggae on Lightning Man

The drug-related deaths of original Pretenders James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon still hang heavy, rearing in the stark blast of Junkie Walk, but are countered effectively by the heart-melting ballads she’s turned into her art-form, You Can’t Hurt A Fool and Crying In Public up there with her best.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!