I'm a bit of a fair-weather Pretenders fan; able to see the good in almost every album (including Chrissie Hynde's new one JP & The Fairground Boys) yet without a strong favourite past the first one. My loss, likely. But if punk rock had kicked off a bit of a uncivil war between the rock n' roll generations, Hynde and her highly-skilled band-mates were the re-constructionists bringing together America and Britain (Ohio meets London), the punks and the old guard (Chrissie, the former NME journo even married Ray Davies!), the critics and the radio (they had plaudits and hits) not to mention feminists and drunken rock fans (I didn't say that all these rapprochements were necessarily permanent).
For proof of some of that here's the band playing live at Heatwave 1980 in Toronto, a New Wave-styled festival that featured one HELL of a line-up.
The fierce-as-fire set sounds loud and clear and includes much of the debut album as well as a cover of "Louie, Louie".
Live at Heatwave (1980) link is in the comments
Speaking of comments, give us your take on the works of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders.
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