Christine Ellen Hynde (born September 7, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is a founding member and the guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter of the rock band The Pretenders, as well as its only constant member. Inspired by hippie counter-culture, Hynde worked in London with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at their clothing store, SEX. In 1978, she formed her own band, The Pretenders, with Pete Farndon, James Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers.
Chrissie Hynde 'Stockholm' the debut album out in June.
Chrissie Hynde sidesteps into the London restaurant, an indomitable riot of colour and character and devil-may-care hair, shrugging off her leopard-print coat to reveal a Mothers Of Invention T-shirt. The album fully recaptures that Pretenders mojo that has latterly been hit-and-miss, as various producers strived for the balance of bite and beauty that characterised the group’s early years. Those first two albums stand up among the most pinpoint-accurate post-punk poetry ever made. There have been many high points since, of course, but Alone – knocked out quickly, fiercely and with a big sense of fun – has rediscovered the mix of fiery and forlorn within which that voice best states its case.
What was originally intended as a Chrissie Hynde solo album finally appears, packaged as a Pretenders release, with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach aboard as producer. A cadre of Auerbach’s country and blues pals – including Duane Eddy, contributor of autumnal twang to the indigo-tinted love song Never Be Together – create a 50s-style rootsiness that suits Hynde very well. Forever parrying toughness and profound vulnerability, she has found empathy in Auerbach’s retro torch arrangements.
Is the Pretenders' new album Alone really a Pretenders album at all, since it's the second consecutive to feature Chrissie Hynde as the lone original member? Hynde said she wrestled with the question herself while working with producer Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys – then she had a breakthrough. What happened with this one was, when I brought these songs back from the studio, my manager was playing them for someone, and the guy said, 'Wow, it’s great to hear the Pretenders back," Hynde told Billboard. And so my manager came to me and said, 'It really does.
When Billboard caught up with Chrissie Hynde, the 65-year-old Pretenders leader was somewhere in Fort Lauderdale, having just woken up following a gig in Tampa the night before playing on Stevie Nicks ’ 24 Karat Gold tour. These shows have seen Hynde delivering several songs from the excellent new Pretenders album Alone, which she recorded with producer and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye. As for how the new material has been going over? No one’s booing, so pretty good, I guess. Hynde says, then laughs
Where Stockholm was recorded with Swedish pop producer Björn Yttling and veered towards machine-tooled Swedish pop, Alone has the feel of the first three Pretenders albums – all chiming guitars, Phil Spector drum stomps and creaky vintage studio details. It felt like the gang was back, says Hynde. It made sense to use the Pretenders name for this album. Alone – like most Pretenders albums – is pretty much Hynde with hired hands. The most important hired hand here is producer Dan Auerbach, the frontman of the Black Keys, Grammy-winning producer and, like Hynde, a native of Akron, Ohio. Auerbach has worked his sonic magic on a varied cast of American pop heroes, from Dr John to Lana Del Ray, from Lee Fields to Ray LaMontagne.
Legendary rockabilly guitarist Duane Eddy also appears on album cut Never Be Together.
Chrissie Hynde sneers "I like being alone" on the title track and opening song on Alone, the first Pretenders album since 2006's Break Up the Concrete. She may have revived the Pretenders name for Alone, the follow-up to her belated 2014 solo debut, Stockholm, but, just like in 2006, Martin Chambers isn't in the studio.