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The Pretenders Are Back on Tour, Hynde Signs to BMG for Songwriting Catalogue

Chrissie Hynde taking time out in August 1990. © Jill Furmanovsky

Chrissie Hynde is back on tour with her band The Pretenders at the end of September. Formed back in 1978 off the back of the New Wave movement the rock and rollers had a gig at the Royal Albert Hall back in April, a one-off event where they ran through some favs from their back catalogue along with songs from their 12th studio album, Alone—which was their first release in eight years and was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

The album (which Uncut called “her finest album in decades”) also saw the band regroup, after being on a hiatus since 2012—although the lineup has changed since back in the 70s and 80s. Two co-founders, lead guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon, both died tragically young from drug overdoses in the 1980s. The former Hynde wrote the song “2000 Miles” for.

Chrissie Hynde captured during a break from travelling in the band's tour bus on its way to Bristol, 1984. © Tony Mottram

However, co-founder and drummer Martin Chambers is now back in the band along with Eric Heywood and James Walbourne on guitar, and Nick Wilkinson (who’s from Ipswich) on bass. After touring Europe in the summer they’re back in the UK for 16 dates before heading to Australia.

Along with the tour, news has also recently been announced that Hynde has signed with BMG (which Alone was released on) for a worldwide deal to release her complete songwriting catalogue. Which includes nearly four decades worth of music covering hits like “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, “Don't Get Me Wrong”, and “I’ll Stand by You.”

Jeff Buckley and Chrissie Hynde backstage at the Glastonbury Festival, June 24, 1995 in Glastonbury, England. © Jill Furmanovsky

Ian Ramage, BMG UK A&R called it "Absolute gold dust." according to Music Week. Also telling them, “The calibre and distinction of Chrissie Hynde’s song catalogue is extraordinary. We are delighted to represent the publishing rights to this timeless and incomparable repertoire”.

Perhaps a Christmas-timed deluxe boxset retrospective is on the cards? And hopefully more albums will be forthcoming too with not quite so along a wait though. Speaking with The Guardian in an interview last year Hynde said, “If you’re an artist, you need to work. It doesn’t matter how old you are, who you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, if you draw, you draw. If you’re 85 and you paint, you paint. I’ll make music as long as I can sing and stand up and hold a guitar and I feel like doing this.”

Chrissie Hynde posing in London wearing a hat made by David Shilling in 1995. © Jill Furmanovsky

Along with making rock and roll music Hynde seems to have lost none of her rock and roll spirit either. In the same interview she made her thoughts clear on ego-stroking rewards given out by the industry. “I fucking loathe the Grammys with a vengeance.” she noted. “The whole idea of it, I don’t understand it, I don’t respect it, I don’t get it at all. I think it’s bullshit.” She also revealed her somewhat scathing name for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which The Pretenders were inducted to in 2005). “I call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Shit.” she said. “It’s everything that rock’n’roll isn’t. It sort of desecrates the name of rock’n’roll.”

Rock on.

Check out the latest music video, below, from The Pretenders for their track “Gotta Wait” (released back in February 2017), taken off their album Alone.

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these iconic Chrissie Hynde images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.