The Great Pretenders

Krist Novoselic's column on music and politics runs every Tuesday on Reverb. He writes about the music he's been listening to every Friday.
While rummaging through the vinyl bins the other day, I came across a gem from one of my favorite bands. I thought I had all the Pretenders releases but was delighted to find the EP Extended Play. With five songs, I already knew the excellent "Message of Love" and of course "Talk of the Town" from the band's second record. The EP includes two tunes from that same session that were never released. "Porcelain" and "Cuban Slide" are great, the latter with this nice Bo Diddley beat. The last song is a hot live version of "Precious."

That version of the Pretenders was truly a great band. And it's satisfying to hear the players on tunes that were previously unknown to me. Singer, guitar player and songwriter Chrissie Hynde is still going strong. Drummer Martin Chambers once came backstage to a Nirvana gig in Germany. It was great to hang out with him. Unfortunately, bassist Pete Farndon and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott died in the early '80s about a year apart due to drug abuse. They live on, however, every time that turntable stylus follows the grooves on the vinyl.

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