Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Talk Of The Town" by The Pretenders

Musically The Pretenders have always alternated between punkish hardness and wistful sentiment; whereas Bad Boys Get Spanked would be a prime example of the former this, then, would be one of the foremost (and first) examples of the latter. Released on both of the band's 1981 albums, Extended Play and Pretenders II, Talk of the Town features some of guitar god James Honeyman-Scott's finest early work*; the video shows the band performing the song on Top of the Pops in 1980.

Honeyman-Scott (known as 'Jimmy') died on this day in 1982**, but not before successfully recruiting his eventual successor - Robbie McIntosh - at a band meeting two days before his death; at the same meeting founding band member Pete Farndon was famously dismissed for his rampant drug use. Farndon died ten months after his best mate Jimmy, leaving fellow founder Martin Chambers and later addition Chrissie Hynde to carry on without them.

*Although, given that he died at the age of only 25, all his work could be said to be early work.
Echoes of Jimmy's work have reverberated through rock and pop music ever since, and can be heard in the jangly genius of Johnny Marr, among other places.

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