Album of the Day
The glamor shot on the sleeve of PRETENDERS II underlines the stardom the band had achieved with their remarkable debut. Producer Chris Thomas returned for the 1981 Sire set, which like its predecessor combines moments of tender beauty (“Talk Of The Town”) with tough-as-nails rockers (“Message Of Love,” “The Adultress”) and a Kinks cover for good measure (“I Go To Sleep”). Though the album went Top Ten in the U.S., its high quality was somewhat taken for granted upon original release - until the deaths the following year of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon closed the book on the original quartet. Released 40 years ago this month, PRETENDERS II shows one of the greatest groups of the 1980s firing on all cylinders.