26 September 2023

Hate For Sale

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Pretenders, BMG 2020.

I’ve been putting off writing this review for some time because the album is not due for release until July 17 however BMG has now released four singles and therefore I feel confident enough to make a pronouncement concerning the album’s quality.

I first saw Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders live at Wembley Stadium way back in the early 80’s and I was completely knocked off my feet.

It was a day of firsts for me, it was the first time I’d seen Bob Dylan live and the same goes for Santana, UB40, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton.

Dylan’s band also included the wonderful Mick Taylor on guitar and for the encore at the end of his show the three great guitarists, Taylor, Clapton, and Carlos Santana traded licks while Van Morrison and Chrissie Hynde provided backing vocals.

I’ve seen Chrissie many times since and she has always produced a show that lives up to her status as a legend of rock and roll.

Hate For Sale is the first album that Chrissie has recorded with her regular touring band.

I’ve seen them the last two times she’s toured and they’re very good.

So far I’ve listened to the title track, (the opening track on the disc), plus the second release (and second album track) The Buzz, also Turf Accountant Daddy and the latest release Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely.

As far as I’m concerned these four tracks are the best songs she’s released since her glory days.

That is not to downplay the quality of her recent portfolio.

Chrissie Hynde is such a good songwriter and performer that she doesn’t produce bad songs.

It’s more a comment about how good this new stuff is.

Hate For Sale is the 11th studio album for the band and it was produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) who is one of the legends of Brit pop.

It’s also the first time that Chrissie has written with her impressive guitarist, James Walbourne.

In a way it has taken her back to the beginning, replicating (at least to some extent) a writing partnership and process that draws on the strengths of both participants to produce outcomes that are bigger than individual efforts.

The result is a fantastic album with an old-school vibe and energy.

There are some great clips on YouTube, look them up and judge for yourself.

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