141. LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS by The Pretenders
When I discussed The Pretenders’ latest album here, I mentioned how the record I’m discussing today, 1994’s The Last of the Independents, had been my prior favorite of theirs. So I thought now would be as good as a time as any to tell you about it. After their first three albums established the band’s presence in the rock scene, they hit a slump with the next couple. Then came this record to put them back on the map (and radio charts). Though the “band” really only consisted of Chrissie Hynde, original drummer Martin Chambers and some session musicians, they sound as tight and in sync as any group who has been playing together for years. Additionally, Hynde’s trademark snark is here as is her knack for great ballads. To get a taste of the former, check out ‘Money Talk’ and ‘I’m a Mother.’ Then, to slow things down a bit, listen to ‘977’ and ‘Revolution.’ The fade out on the latter, beginning around the 4 minute mark, is truly something to behold - it gets me every time. Finally, the record closes out with a beautiful cover/reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ - definitely worth your time.