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The Pretenders


1951

Martin Chambers, drummer for the Pretenders, is born in Hereford, England.

1951

Christine Ellen “Chrissie” Hynde, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Pretenders, is born in Akron, Ohio.

1952

Pete Farndon, bassist for the Pretenders, is born in Hereford, England.

1956

James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist for the Pretenders, is born in Hereford, England.

1973

Future Pretender Chrissie Hynde moves from Ohio to London, where she’ll work as a rock journalist and try to break into music.

1978

The Pretenders form in London, with American expatriate Chrissie Hynde joined by bassist Pete Farndon, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and (a year later) drummer Martin Chambers.

1979

The Pretenders’ debut - a cover of the Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” produced by Nick Lowe - is released. It becomes a Top Thirty U.K. hit and stirs interest in America.

1980

The Pretenders’ self-titled first album, one of the most arresting debuts of the New Wave era, is released. It peaks at #9 and is certified platinum (one million sold) in 1982.

1980

“Brass in Pocket” becomes the Pretenders’ first Top Forty hit. It will peak at #14 in the U.S. and top the charts in Britain.

1981

The Pretenders’ prosaically titled second album, Pretenders II, is released. Standout tracks include “Message of Love,” “Talk of the Town” and “I Go to Sleep.”

1982

James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist for the Pretenders, dies of a cocaine overdose.

1983

“Back on the Chain Gang,” by the Pretenders, enters the charts. It will become their biggest U.S. hit, reaching #5.

1983

Pete Farndon, bassist with the Pretenders, dies of a heroin overdose.

1984

The Pretenders bounce back from the deaths of two founding members with Learning to Crawl. It reaches #5 and remains their highest charting album.

1986

The Pretenders release Get Close, their fourth album, which contains the Top Ten hit “Don’t Get Me Wrong.”

1987

The Singles, a 16-track compilation, surveys the Pretenders’ impressive hitmaking ability thus far in the Eighties.

1990

The Pretenders’ fifth studio album, Packed!, is released. Recorded at four studios on two continents, it contains only leader Chrissie Hynde from the original lineup.

1994

The Pretenders release Last of the Independents, their sixth studio album, which marks the return of drummer Martin Chambers.

1994

The Pretenders’ last Top Forty hit, “I’ll Stand by You,” enters the charts, where it will peak at #16.

1999

Viva El Amor!, the Pretenders’ first studio album in five years, is released. Its cover shot of Chrissie Hynde was taken by Linda McCartney shortly before her death.

2002

The Pretenders release Loose Screw, their first album for Artemis Records.

2005

The Pretenders are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twentieth annual induction dinner. Neil Young is their presenter.

The Pretenders