The Pretenders

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 2005

Inducted by: Neil Young

Nominated in: 2005

First Eligible: 2005 Ceremony

Inducted Members: Chrissie Hynde, Martin Chambers, Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott

Snubbed Members: Robbie McIntosh

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2008 (ranked #203) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Pretenders (1980)
Learning to Crawl (1984)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Brass In Pocket (I'm Special) (1980)
Back On The Chain Gang (1982)
Middle of the Road (1983)
My City Was Gone (1984)

The Pretenders @ Wikipedia

The Pretenders Videos


7 comments so far (post your own)

Many people mistakenly call the Pretenders song "My City Was Gone" "Ohio" because that's the word repeated in the song the most. "Ohio" is repeated about seven or eight times in the song. But the man who inducted Hynde & Co. into the RRHOF, Neil Young, already wrote a song called "Ohio" and had a big hit with it as part of CSNY. At the 2005 induction ceremony, Neil Young played guitar on "My City Was Gone" the song that couldn't be named after its most repeated word because he already wrote a well-known song called "Ohio"

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Monday, 10.24.11 @ 03:34am

The critical respect this band always received is a complete mystery to me. Their music was not new, not innovative, not historically important and just doesn't stand up. "Back On the Chain Gang" is their most well-known song, but is certainly not a classic. I think you have a couple of things at work. First Hynde was initially a music journalist, and this seems to have had a predictably favorable impact on other music writers. Secondly Hynde fit the music writers' preconceived idea of a female rocker: not too attractive, almost masculine, essentially non-threatening. Bottom line I think the Pretenders were a good band, but definitely not a great one and just not first ballot material. (Noticing that prompted me to write). It's another instance of a critic's darling that the critics didn't evaluate too thoughtfully.

Posted by astrodog on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 00:25am

I was going to add Brass in Pocket, but same point.

Posted by astrodog on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 00:26am

I find it quite ironic that a band whose claim to fame was supposedly excelling in the punk/post punk realm turned out to have one of the best easy listening songs of the 80s with Back On The Chain Gang. Brass In Pocket is one of the most bland songs I've heard to this day...plenty of adult contemporary tunes are more exciting.... no hooks whatsoever, just the same boring riff throughout. If Chrissie wasn't vamping it up the whole way, the song would be completely forgotten. I think the fact that she was involved with Ray Davies gave her an elevated status, but no way are they first ballot material. The Guess Who have more songs on the radio today than The Pretenders.

Posted by classicrocker on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 01:03am

I don't mean to pick on them. But we are always trying to weigh critical praise vs. commercial success. In my mind this was just one of those instances when critical group think went astray. I have my theories as to why, but their being a first ballot inductee jumped out at me. That no one ever seemed to question it is fascinating. They are always seemingly under the radar so people don't notice.

Posted by astrodog on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 01:54am

What I never understood was why the Pretenders were always so highly regarded and many of their contemporaries were dismissed. A good example is how they were inducted first ballot.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 03:16am

I love Chrissie, she's not all about the looks, she's all about the music.

Posted by BulmaPunkRocker on Sunday, 07.6.14 @ 21:33pm

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