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Released: January 19, 1980

Rating: 4.574 (average of 9 ratings)

Genre: rock > new wave

Quotable: “Few albums, let alone debuts, are ever this astonishingly addictive.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Precious
  2. The Phone Call
  3. Up the Neck
  4. Tattooed Love Boys
  5. Space Invader
  6. The Wait
  7. Stop Your Sobbing
  8. Kid
  9. Private Life
  10. Brass in Pocket
  11. Lovers of Today
  12. Mystery Achievement

Total Running Time: 46:42

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 1.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 9
peak on U.K. album chart 1 4

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Stop Your Sobbing (2/10/79) #65 US, #34 UK
  • Kid (7/14/79) #33 UK
  • Brass in Pocket (11/17/79) #14 US, #1 UK


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of All Time Spin magazine – album of the year One of VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time.

“Few rock & roll records rock as hard or with as much originality as the Pretenders' eponymous debut album. A sleek, stylish fusion of Stonesy rock & roll, new wave pop, and pure punk aggression, Pretenders is teeming with sharp hooks and a viciously cool attitude. Although Chrissie Hynde establishes herself as a forceful and distinctively feminine songwriter, the record isn't a singer/songwriter's tour de force – it’s a rock & roll album, powered by a unique and aggressive band.” STE

“Guitarist James Honeyman-Scott never plays conventional riffs or leads, and his phased, treated guitar gives new dimension to the pounding rhythms of Precious, Tattooed Love Boys, Up the Neck, and The Wait, as well as the more measured pop of Kid, Brass in Pocket, and Mystery Achievement. He provides the perfect backing for Hynde and her tough, sexy swagger.” STE

“Hynde doesn’t fit into any conventional female rock stereotype, and neither do her songs, alternately displaying a steely exterior or a disarming emotional vulnerability. It’s a deep, rewarding record, whose primary virtue is its sheer energy. Pretenders moves faster and harder than most rock records, delivering an endless series of melodies, hooks, and infectious rhythms in its 12 songs. Few albums, let alone debuts, are ever this astonishingly addictive.” STE

Review Source(s):

Last updated March 16, 2010.