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Christine Ellen “Chrissie” Hynde is best known as the leader of the rock/new wave band the Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history.
In 1978, Hynde made a demo tape and gave it to Dave Hill, owner of the label Real Records. Hill stepped in to manage her career, and began by paying off the back rent owed on her rehearsal room in Covent Garden London. Hill also advised Hynde to take her time and get a band together.
In the spring of 1978, Hynde met Pete Farndon (bass guitar, vocals), and they selected a band consisting of James Honeyman-Scott (guitar, vocals,keyboards), and Martin Chambers, (drums, vocals,percussion), put the name The Pretenders on the group, inspired by the song “The Great Pretender” The Platters.
They recorded a demo tape (including “Precious”, “The Wait” and a Kinks cover, (“Stop Your Sobbing”), handed it to Hynde’s friend Nick Lowe, produced a single (“Stop Your Sobbing/The Wait”) and performed their first gigs in a club in Paris.
The single was released in January 1979 and hit the Top 30 in UK. The band’s early success was followed by their first gigs in Britain where they earned wide critical acclaim. Later that spring (1979), The Pretenders recorded their eponymous first album and hit the charts in UK and US with the song “Brass in Pocket”.
The band traded on the success of this first album (for Sire Records) for some time, as it wasn’t released around the world until well into 1979 (some charts consider it the best album of 1980, for example).