Album of the Day
Learning to Crawl
The loss of a lead guitarist and a bassist in less than a year would have destroyed many bands, but Pretenders bounced back from tragedy with LEARNING TO CRAWL. The 1984 Sire set includes a magnificent tribute to the late James Honeyman-Scott (“Back On The Chain Gang,” a Top 10 hit), but the rest of the ten tracks show the band looking forward rather than backward. With producer Chris Thomas returning to the helm, frontwoman Chrissie Hynde came up with some of her best songs, ranging from fiery rockers (“Middle of the Road,” “My City Was Gone”) to tender balladry (Christmastime classic “2000 Miles”), with an ace cover of The Persuaders' “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” to round out the set. More than a triumph over adversity, the platinum-certified LEARNING TO CRAWL stands among the very best Pretenders albums, and today we'll give it another spin in honor of Hynde's birthday.