‘It’s good to hear The Pretenders again.’
It was these simple words that heralded the unforeseen return of the greatest group on the planet.
In a nutshell: Chrissie Hynde was working on solo project with the Black Key’s Dan Auerbach in his Nashville studio, organically recording the follow up to her 2014 album, the superb Stockholm.
The new record had been tentatively entitled Chrissie Hynde Practices Her Autograph.
Then it dawned that those driving guitars, ragged-but-righteous arrangements, the tough yet tender lyrics delivered by the most distinctive voice of a generation sounded fantastically familiar. Ultimately, this could only mean one thing: The Pretenders were back.
And this wasn’t a cynical brand reboot, more a happy accident.
Chrissie Hynde shrugs, still as cool as the other side of the pillow. ‘These things happen. It’s just a name.’
Having effectively reformed her ground-breaking band, Hynde decided to rechristen the record.
With characteristic perversity, she called it ‘Alone’.
Thirty six years after The Pretenders’ first album, Alone could be the older, wiser, badder sister to that exhilarating debut. It’s that good.
Fizzing with infectious energy and still punk rock skinny at 65, the singer, a natural raconteur, orders a dairy-free cappuccino, shunts up the sleeves of her Elvis t-shirt and picks up the story.