The Pretenders – “Pretenders” (1980)

Part of the reason for Life in the Vinyl Lane is to provide an vehicle for my compulsion to write. It’s an outlet of sorts, a way of capturing thoughts and impressions, and then sharing those with, well, whoever out there happens to read the blog. How many people is that? I don’t pay much attention to the stats offered by my web host so I’m not entirely sure. But I know at least a few of you are out there because from time to time I get an email, which is (almost) always nice.

I’ve found it harder to write this year for some reason. I’m not listening to less music, that’s for sure. Hell, I finally broke down and got a paid Spotify subscription and I’ve been wearing that thing out. Plus I did some decent sized mail orders from Reykjavik’s Lucky Records and Philly’s Suicide Bong label, and even got four massive moving boxes full of free funk, soul, and jazz. It’s been an embarrassment of vinyl (and cassette) riches in 2020. But I’m still struggling to hit the keys on the laptop. Has the compulsion to write turned into a compulsion to publish posts, the writing taking a back seat to volume, quantity trumping whatever sense of quality I try to maintain? I’m not sure. All I know is it’s Monday afternoon on the tail end of a three-day weekend and I feel like I should have written a lot for the blog when in fact this is only the second post I managed.

What does this have to do with The Pretenders? No clue. I cleaned the last batch of those freebies I mentioned earlier, or at least the last batch I 100% intend on keeping, and somehow this found its way nestled between Billy Preston and Ricard Pryor in this collection. There were a handful of unlikely mainstream pop and rock records hidden away in there, many of which I’ve never actually heard all the way through. Like Pretenders. This is probably the first time I’ve sat down and listen to any album by The Pretenders. And I have to say, Chrissie Hynde is pretty bad-ass. Clearly this shouldn’t be a revelation to me, but having only previously associated her with “Back On The Chain Gang” and “Brass In Pocket” it came as a bit of a surprise. It just goes to show, no matter how much you’ve listened to up to this point, there’s always more out there. And that’s what keeps me coming back to the keyboard…