By melding punk aggression with a classic pop sensibility, Pretenders came up with a truly unique sound which propelled them towards major stardom during the early 80s. The deaths of original members, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon, threatened to derail the group, but leader Chrissie Hynde is nothing if not resilient. Thanks to her singular songwriting talents and staunch support from some well-chosen collaborators, her band have amassed a formidable catalogue and remain a force to be reckoned with. We reveal exactly why they’re special – so special – with the 20 best Pretenders songs.
20: The Buzz (from ‘Hate For Sale’, 2020)
Pretenders’ current line-up, featuring Chrissie Hynde and original drummer Martin Chambers, plus bassist Nick Wilkinson and guitarist James Walbourne, may just be their best since the quartet formed. This latter-day outfit were responsible for Hate For Sale: a high-quality collection ranging from the sneering, Damned-esque title track to the soulful ballad You Can’t Hurt A Fool. Holding its own among the very best Pretenders songs, though, is the record’s first single, The Buzz: a vintage-style outing showcasing Walbourne’s stylish guitar filigrees and a sublime Hynde vocal.