I’m 100% certain that I have have talked about 2000 Miles by The Pretenders, one of my favorite Christmas songs, on Hard Candy in previous years, so I won’t talk much more about it other than to say that is just fantastic in every way and it simply must be a part of your collection. Instead, I’m going to go the less typical route and talk about Happy Christmas which served as the b-side to 2000 Miles when this single was released back in 1995. Somehow it has taken me 15 years to hear this, but now I have I’m obsessing over it.
This track is not a typical Christmas song full of cheer and good tidings, instead it is a rather sad sounding bluesy number (isn’t Chrissie good at those?) It’s perfect for cuddling up on the sofa, sipping mulled wine and watching the snow fall. I dare you not to fall in love with this song! - Camille
I’m taking it back to the old Hard Candy days and reviving the “Which Is Better” track comparison series, worth doing even if its just for this track! The song in question today is Private Life. It waswritten by Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and included on their 1979 debut album, the following year it was covered by Grace Jones for the Warm Leatherette album.
For me its a very close call between Grace and Chrissie, but if I were forced to choose I’d probably pick Grace Jones’ version. The song is just so fitting for her voice and the way she delivers the track is so gloriously haunting.
Included in the liners notes of the Grace Jones compilation album The Compass Sessions are these thoughts on the cover from Chrissie herself…
“Like all the other London punks, I wanted to do reggae, and I wrote “Private Life”. When I first heard Grace’s version I thought ‘Now that’s how it’s supposed to sound!’ In fact it was one of the highpoints of my career – what with Sly and Robbie being the masters, and Grace Jones with her scorching delivery. Someone told me it was Chris Blackwell’s idea – thanks Chris!”
Natalie Imbruglia has covered one of my favorite songs – 2000 Miles by The Pretenders. It’s a Christmassy one, but I listen to The Pretenders one year round haha! Anyway, I quite enjoy her version, but no-one sings it like Chrissie! You can hear it on her MySpace or download at it her website – Camille
It’s time that we spread a little more Christmas cheer on Hard Candy! One of my favorite Christmas songs of all time is 2000 MILES by THE PRETENDERS (I mean, I play it year round but it sounds EXTRA good in the Christmas season!) Chrissie’s voice is just insanely beautiful on this track. It’s such a shame I can’t seem to find an official video for the track, it would have been a good one Chrissie bouncing around in the snow, couldn’t you see it? Check this fantastic live performance though! – Camille
Yesterday afternoon I skipped out of work early and headed down to central park on the hottest day of the year here in NYC. I soaked up the sun for a while, then before I knew it there was movement and a race was on to front row! There was JULIETTE LEWIS in an incredible costume, rocking out from the very first song! She only had thirty minutes (far to short) but she made the best of it singing several new songs including ‘Suicide Dive Bombers’ and ‘Hard Loving Woman’ from her new album Terra Incognita. She delighted me with a couple old ones from her Licks days ‘Pray For The Band Latoya‘ and ‘Sticky Honey.’ I was left dying for a bit of ‘Hot Kiss’ and ‘You’re Speaking My Language’ though!
Just a couple songs in and Juliette was over the barrier and into the audience! Just as I was deciding whether to give up my spot at the front and run over to where she was, low and behold there she was heading towards me! She charged through the audience grabbed a random guy and danced for a second, headed back the other way and leaped back onto the stage! I loved it all, she has an amazing stage presence and rocks hard, I cannot wait to see more from her! (HellooooNYC show Sept 17th at the Fillmore!)
Next up was CAT POWER. She has a wonderful voice which I greatly enjoy, but after the energy that was Juliette Lewis and knowing the energy that was coming next, I felt her set could have been shorter. In fact I think she should have been on first, we could have sat and lounged then leapt up and started dancing for Juliette followed by the Pretenders!
It seemed to me that Cat was not entirely comfortable being on stage, she had a no photo rule and she tugged at her Tshirt and played around with her pocket incessantly. I found her endearing but I felt she would have been better suited to a lounge type atmosphere.
(Thanks Brooklyn Vegan for this pic)
Then it was time for a quick set change and THE PRETENDERS I swear this band gets better and better, It’s just insane! Chrissie tore through classics and new stuff from Break Up The Concrete ( which went down well due to the fact that its quality stuff, people were there for the hits but the new stuff got a great recepetion.
Some of the stand out performances for me were Night In My Veins, during which this wind came out of nowhere and started blowing the stage apart and it threatened to rain, at which point everyone roared with delight due to it still being sooo hot at past 9 because we were dancing up a storm…. The night really was in my veins at that moment! ‘I’ll Stand By You‘ which is one of my favorite songs ever was another stand out, as was ‘Precious’ which I’m not all that familiar with but loved in this live context, ‘Mystery Achievement‘ and my old favorites ‘Brass in Pocket’ and ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong.’
Chrissie is still on top form, brilliant guitarist, remarkable voice and some awesome high kicks and she had the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand. I was once again amazed at how her voice still sounds the same after all these years. Truly one of the best performers ever.
Pretenders Set List
Break Up the Concrete Message of Love Love’s a Mystery Kid/The Nothing Maker/Rosalee My City Was Gone Angel of the Morning Back on the Chain Gang Almost Perfect The Last Ride Don’t Get Me Wrong Thumbelina Don’t Cut Your Hair Night in My Veins Precious Boots of Chinese Plastic Encore: I’ll Stand By You Brass in Pocket Mystery Achievement
Check the HCM YouTube Channel for all the videos and see more pictures on Facebookand become a fan while you’re there for more exclusives!
The Pretenders have posted a cool competition on their website! You can win the chance to shoot a fan video for ‘Boots of Chinese Plastic‘ in Los Angeles. The video will feature some friends of PETA such as Pamela Anderson.
All you have to do is make a video lip syncing to ‘Boots of Chinese Plastic’ and be sure to show off your plastic boots ;) then upload it to YouTube to enter! More details can be found here. Post the links to your videos in the comments!