Pretenders: Get Close (Remastered + Expanded) CD Track Listing

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Pretenders Get Close (Remastered + Expanded) (1986)
Get Close (Remastered + Expanded)\n2007 Sire Records/Rhino\n\nOriginally Released October 10, 1986\nCD Edition Released July 1987\nRemastered + Expanded CD Edition Released June 5, 2007\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: In the first edition of the Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde was a smart and streetwise rock & roller with just enough maturity to make something of what life had shown her by her mid-twenties -- and she had the rough-and-tumble band to match for her first two albums. The second version of the group cast her as an unwitting but unbowed survivor, determined to move on and keep rocking despite the deaths of two of her bandmates, and the tough, no-nonsense approach of her new collaborators on Learning to Crawl reflected her attitude. Released in 1986, Get Close marked the debut of the Pretenders' Mark Three, and on this album listeners are introduced to Chrissie Hynde, Mature Professional Musician with a band to match. Get Close is never less than solid as a work of craft, and guitarist Robbie McIntosh, drummer Blair Cunningham, and bassist T.M. Stevens deliver tight and emphatic performances throughout, but they also sound like what they are -- journeymen musicians who bring their chops to their projects while leaving their personalities at the door. While Hynde always dominated the Pretenders, by this time it was obvious that this was fully her show, and if she felt less like rocking and more like exploring her emotions and thoughts about parenthood on midtempo pop tunes, no one in the group was going to prod her into doing otherwise; the presence of a large number of additional session players further buffs away any of Get Close's potential sharp edges. Despite all this, Hynde's voice is in great form throughout, and when she gets her dander up, she still has plenty to say and good ways to say it; "How Much Did You Get for Your Soul?" is a gleefully venomous attack on the musically unscrupulous; "Don't Get Me Wrong" is a superb pop tune and a deserved hit single; and the Motown-flavored "I Remember You" and the moody "Chill Factor" suggest she'd been learning a lot from her old soul singles. But after three great albums from the Pretenders, Get Close sounded good but not especially striking, and its hit-and-miss approach, with a few great songs surrounded by lesser material, was something Hynde's fans would find themselves getting used to over the group's next few releases. In the summer of 2007, Rhino Records released an expanded and remastered edition of Get Close that included six bonus tracks. Included are scrappy but energetic early takes of "Dance" and "Hold a Candle to This" (the latter of which would be re-recorded for 1990's Packed!), as well as a pair of excellent live tracks from a February 1987 concert in Austin, TX. While the remix of "Tradition of Love" and the outtake "World Within Worlds" don't add much to the package, the other bonus selections certainly boost the album's average, and the new packaging and liner notes are great; while all this doesn't change the fact that Get Close is an interesting but flawed work, if you want to own this album, this is certainly the version to get. -- Mark Deming\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: By now, Hynde is writing songs to her child and taking on social issues. But the chiming guitars are gorgeous, and Hynde's caught-in-the-throat voice has never been more expressive. -- William Ruhlmann\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nUnfortunately, the Pretenders' weakest album., June 14, 2007 \nBy R. Josef (New Haven, CT United States)\nAfter the death of two of the original Pretenders, the band was, of course, in major disarray. However, Chrissie Hynde perservered with replacements, and was able to reemerge. With the help of producer Chris Thomas, the band was able to come up with a pretty good approximation of the original Pretenders sound on their third album, the successful "Learning to Crawl". The following tour had them playing to the biggest crowds they had yet seen. \n\nHowever, Hynde then proceeded to blow it. First, she replaced Thomas with U2 producer Steve Lillywhite, which in itself wasn't a bad sign. After completing only one track, she then fired him, as well as her rhythm section. To replace Lillywhite, she enlisted Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain, the team behind the mega-smash "Once a Upon a Time", the hit album by then-hubby Jim Kerr's band Simple Minds. She and guitarist Robbie MacIntosh then went through a bunch of session men during recording before settling on two of them, bassist T.M. Stevens and drummer Blair Cunningham, as official Pretenders (although they actually appear on only about half of the cuts). \n\nHowever, what's good for a synth-pop band like Simple Minds isn't necessarily good for a band like the Pretenders. Iovine and Clearmountain seemed to have forgotten that the Pretenders are a guitar-based band. Instead of the powerful rock guitar attack of Thomas, they instead slicken up the sound and go too way heavy on the keyboards in the mix. A lot of the songs are undermined by either gloppy synthesizers ("When I Change My Life", "Light of the Moon") or annoyingly tinkly pianos ("My Baby", "Don't Get Me Wrong"). \n\nMore importantly, though, is that Hynde's songwriting took a big dip. She felt that she had to branch out, but the problem is that she wasn't particularly good at what she tried. For instance: funk with obnoxious, obvious social commentary ("Dance", "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul?"), melding hard rock with Indian sounds ("Tradition of Love") or reggae ("I Remember You"). "Chill Factor", which combines a 50's-type doo-wop melody with a moving lyric about single motherhood, is the only one of these experiments that succeeds. The more pop-oriented songs ("My Baby", "When I Change My Life", the boppy hit single "Don't Get Me Wrong") were a bit more listenable, but pale considerably when compared with previous work. \n\nHynde always included at least one cover on her albums. Here, she includes three, and it's telling that two of these are the best songs on the album. "Light of the Moon", by David Bowie guitarist Carlos Alamar and two New York jazz musicians, is forgettable. But "Hymn to Her", by a high school friend of Chrissie's, is a gorgeous ballad about the ambiguity of the female role in relationship. Beautiful, with the ethereal keyboards applied appropriately for once. However, the Lillywhite track, a version of Jimi Hendrix's "Room Full of Mirrors", blows everything else here away. The band had been using it as a wall-of-noise part of their encore, and I think they really do it justice here, rocking hard like they did on their earlier (and later) albums. \n\nThe lack of cohesiveness of this, their worst album, carried through to the tour -- Stevens was fired before it even started and MacIntosh quit at the end. \nFortunately, Hynde rebounded again, but the band wouldn't be stable again for years. \n\nPretenders hardcore fans will want this album for the strongest songs, but everyone else will probably just want the hits on a collection. Get any other album (definitely the first should be the top choice) before this one. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nSome good songs and nothing really bad, November 20, 2003 \nBy kireviewer (Sunnyvale, Ca United States)\nThis album deserves something between 3 and 4 stars. It has some very good songs but nothing spectacular. It is not the Pretenders best and it is not the worst. This is the Pretenders fourth full length album. (They had a number of EP's back in the day when that was the big thing). It is 47 minutes long (most of the Pretenders albums were long by LP standards) and has good sound quality.\n\nThis album reflects the sounds of 1986. In part the Pretenders were a leader, bringing punk to the masses and in part they were a follower. But, they were always at the leading edge. The Pretenders moved from punk to new wave to pop to funk to disco. By this time disco had taken in all forms of music.\n\nThere are some nice funk songs on this album. Dance is probably the closest the Pretenders ever came to a disco dance hit. And then there is How Did You Get So Much Soul.\n\nThe real highlight of the album is the final track, Jimi Hendrix's Room Full of Mirrors. I remember hearing this on my car radio and then rushing out to buy the CD. It actually isn't too much different from Hendrix's version, but still great.\n\nThere are some mediocre tracks on this album. As always the biggest hit, Don't Get Me Wrong, is the weakest track on the CD.\n\nBefore getting this CD, I would get the first 3 (Prentenders, II and Learning to Crawl) and then Last Of the Independents. The first album came out of nowhere, smashing you over the head with a punk, hard rock sound. This wasn't just a matter of an English group softening an American artform for mass consumption(which is done a lot in England-jazz, rock, blues, soul, rap, etc.). There was a real passion in the music. With the second album, the group refined and improved on the sound, and went in some new directions. With Learning To Crawl, the group moved to a rock/pop sound, but still kept that punk edge. It was a successful mix. After that, Hynde has been trying to find a sound, experimenting with all kinds music. Some successful, some not. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nNothing to see here... Move along., November 17, 2003 \nBy loucope "loucope" (Brooklyn, NY USA)\nEasily the worst Pretenders release. Only the Steve Lillywhite produced Hendrix cover "Room Full of Mirrors" is worth a second listen.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nPlay that funky music, white girl?, October 31, 2003 \nReviewer: A music fan\nThis is the first Pretenders album that is clearly a Chrissie Hynde album rather than a group effort. It even shows on the cover, the first where she's alone on the front with the band on the back, even showing the hierarchy - the lone musician kept on from the Learning to Crawl sessions gets the biggest picture. Somewhere in the tradition between blue-eyed soul and white rappers, Chrissie tries to get funky, and pulls it off with mixed results. Except for the fact that she doesn't stick to a single musical style for the entire CD, this is a bit like the series of Neil Young albums where he tries playing with various genres for fun - it might be interesting to hear him try to be a soul man, but in the end that's not his strength, and you want to hear Harvest or one of the CD's with Crazy Horse.\n\nMy Baby is a nicely done soft love song not out of step with some of her earlier material. When I Change My Life is another gentle love song that's not as well-written. Light of the Moon is a poor attempt at funk with a musically dated sound. Dance! is an embarrassing attempt at a dance/protest song. There is some great material here, however. Tradition of Love is gorgeous in both melody and in the faux middle eastern singing style. Don't Get Me Wrong was the radio hit, a remarkably well-crafted pop song - Pretenders Lite. I heard enough of it in 1986 to last nearly a lifetime, but there's no denying it's a minor Chrissie classic. I Remember You is musically dated, has weak lyrics and I find the use of the synthesizer annoying, but this love song has a pretty melody. How Much Did You Get For Your Soul is bad in so many ways. Mind you, I'd be happy hearing Chrissie sing Sesame Street, but while some protest songs are timeless, this one is just old. A Sun City protest is a historical novelty now, and the funk doesn't work. Nor does hearing Chrissie Hynde chanting "who's got soul? super soul!"\n\nChill Factor, on the other hand, is a strikingly beautiful song in which Chrissie captures the 60's style soul sound perfectly. She gets it just right here - Otis Redding couldn't have done it better. Hymn to Her is a gorgeous song too, an anthem, and a great Chrissie Hynde song (if not a great Pretenders song). Room Full of Mirrors is a mediocre Hendrix cover. The Pretenders pulled it off extremely well live - next to Precious, it was the highlight of the set I heard on the Get Close tour - but the version here doesn't do the song justice.\n\nOverall, this experiment with horns and synthesizers and funky bass isnt awful, and if you're in just the right mood, you may enjoy it. I do every few years, though I usually prefer the more typical Pretenders sound. I'm a bit surprised to read from a reviewer here that this is Chrissie's favorite album - perhaps that's the case, and she just gives the people what they want in concert, but I've never heard her cover more than a song or two from this album live. (To be fair, I haven't heard her in concert in several years). Even the Get Close tour, as I remember it, mostly featured material from Pretenders and Learning to Crawl. (Which would be smarter purchases than this CD if you don't have them). If you're a Pretenders collector and lack this album, you'll probably enjoy some of it. But, as others have written, be prepared to dislike some of it as well. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nPatchy But Must Have For Classics, May 13, 2002 \nBy mike "janbay@cygnus.uwa.edu.au" (Australia)\nI get the distinct impression that 'Get Close' tries to be two albums at once. On one hand are the wistful love songs stamped all over with that distinctive Pretenders sound. On the other hand the album tries to explore funk territory, which leads one to believe that Chrissie should stick to what she knows best.\n\nHYMN TO HER is a classic, pure and simple, in my opinion the best track that Chrissie has ever written. Lyrically and musically beautiful. TRADITION OF LOVE is a rousing euphoric rocker, and amazes me why this was never a single. MY BABY, WHEN I CHANGE MY LIFE and DONT GET ME WRONG all gorgeous Pretenders by numbers, altho the latter gets a little too close to being bubblegum, incredibly infectious though. I REMEMBER YOU flirts with reggae and is pleasant enough, altho the three 'funk' tracks, LIGHT OF THE MOON, DANCE and HOW MUCH DID YOU GET FOR YOUR SOUL leave much to be desired. 'How Much' is redeemed by witty bitchy lyrics, but 'Dance' is just plain awful. And altho ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS is okay, I get very uneasy when Jimmi Hendrex is covered. He puts magic into his songs no-one else can so covers will also sound, well inferior.\n\nBe prepared to do alot of skipping on this album, there will be something you hate. Patchy musically and probably the weakest Pretenders albumlyrically (most of the tracks are basically glorified love songs)the good tracks more than redeem the situation. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nNot Great, But Funky, October 27, 2001 \nBy Brian Case "Music Maven" (Wellsville, N.Y. United States)\nGet Close is one of those albums you put away for a while but keep coming back to. It's not the best Chrissy Hynde has released, but it's just ... average. The Pretenders are always evolving with different members coming aboard all the time. My favorite cuts are For Your Soul and the gorgeous Chill Factor. There is no doubt in my mind that Chrissy Hynde has one of the best voices in the music industry. Get Close showcases\na funky side that was missing in a lot of their earler (and better) releases. Not the best the Pretenders have put out, but not a bad release either. If you want to get funky some day, play Get Close! \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nUneven, November 4, 1999 \nReviewer: A music fan\nFrom 1986, "Get Close" is one of the Pretender's most uneven album. Highlighted by sensational cuts such as "Don't Get Me Wrong," "Hymn to Her," "My Baby," "Chill Factor" and "When I Change My Life" rank with their best. Unfortunately "Dance," "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul" "Room Full Of Mirrors" etc. are little more than uninspired filler. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nMixed styles, but solid music, August 6, 1998 \nReviewer: A music fan\n\nRanges from the distinctly still-punk 'Precious' (much superior to most punk) to the glorious pagan anthem, 'Hymn to Her' (the pro critic who thought this was for Hynde's real-life mother is both culturally ignorant and not really listening -- this is about the Triune Goddess). If you like the later Pretenders and don't have this album, buy it! 'Roomful of Mirrors' is much better than the original. 'How Much Did You Get for Your Soul' is razor-edged, but if you're leaving the album on repeat for several hours you'll want to delete it -- who can take being lectured that often? "Dance" is a long, trance-inducing cut perfect for its name. \n\n\nHalf.com Album Notes\nThe Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde (vocals, guitar); Robbie McIntosh (guitar); T.M. Stevens (bass); Blair Cunningham (drums).\n\nAdditional personnel: Shankar (violin); Pat Seymour, Bernie Worrell, Wix, Bruce Brody, Tommy Mandel, Rupert Black (keyboards); Bruce Thomas, T.M. Stevens, Chucho Merchan, John McKenzie, Malcolm Foster (bass); Martin Chambers, Simon Phillips, Mel Gaynor (drums); Steve Jordon (drums, percussion); Carlos Alomar (percussion, programming).\n\nProducers: Jimmy Iovine, Bob Clearmountain, Steve Lillywhite.\n\nRecorded at AIR Recording Studios, London; Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, New York; Right Track Recording and Power Station, New York, New York.\n\nGET CLOSE, the Pretenders fourth album, has its drawbacks. There are a few too many mid-tempo songs, the production is unnecessarily slick, and at least one song--the unconvincing funk put-down "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul"--simply doesn't work. Yet GET CLOSE still packs a considerable wallop. One may long for the punk panache head Pretender Chrissie Hynde displayed on the band's early records, but frankly, if she has to celebrate the joys of motherhood, we should be thankful that the resultant "Hymn to Her" is such an exquisite a bit of neo-folk rock. (Gratitude is also the correct response to guitar god Robbie McIntosh's work throughout the album, which is, as usual, utterly succinct and thrilling).\n\nAttention must also be paid to two of Hynde's loveliest ballads: the beguiling "My Baby" and the Memphis soul-tinged "Chill Factor." A very effective cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Room Full of Mirrors" closes the album. The cherry on top is the infectious "Don't Get Me Wrong," a Motown pastiche that's probably Hynde's most consistently ingratiating tune.\n\n\nROLLING STONE REVIEW\nFrom the trifling pop of "Don't Get Me Wrong" to the vaguely Caribbean "I Remember You," through the Bad Company-goes-to-India modalities of "Tradition of Love" and the several lumpy funk numbers, Get Close doesn't sound like a Pretenders album. And, arguably, it isn't.\n\nThe Pretenders were always very much a band, a unit with a lean drive that rooted and braced Chrissie Hynde's curt songs. Perhaps the most remarkable achievement about Leaming to Crawl, the band's last LP, was the way Hynde pulled that sound together even after two of the original band members died from drug-related causes. During the sessions for Get Close, Hynde dismissed that band, except for guitarist Robbie McIntosh, and utilized a squad of more illustrious musicians, whose credits include David Bowie, Talking Heads, Pete Townshend and Bryan Adams. And after years of Chris Thomas's hard, true production, she hired Bob Clearmountain and Jimmy Iovine, the team behind Simple Minds' Once upon a Time. The result is a scattershot studio extravaganza that can't camouflage the album's considerable weaknesses.\n\nAs on The Pretenders II, the group's other spotty LP, Hynde is audibly uncomfortable with her pop-star image. On the album-opening "My Baby," she frets over her inadequacies ("I'm a peasant/Dressed as a princess") and compares her songs unfavorably with the "natural beauty" and "poetry" of a dancing lover, as crowd applause emphasizes the song's literalness. In "Dance!" -- a shrill piece of psychedelic funk -- she repeats her uneasiness by equating political demagogy and musical heroism.\n\nThis concern with the worthiness of pop stars narrows into "How Much Did You Get for Your Soul?" -- a thinly veiled rant that accuses Michael Jackson of selling out ("Millions of kids are looking at you/You say 'Let them drink soda pop'") and condemns black bourgeoisification. Hynde's apparent allegation that Jackson's compromise of black tradition -- which she stereotypes as "the gospel" -- disqualifies him as a role model is smug and hypocritical; Jackson co-wrote "We Are the World," while Hynde's most recent advocacy has been for the decriminalization of heroin. Furthermore, the recycled Bowieisms of "Light of the Moon" and the ineptness of "How Much ..." and "Dance!" reveal that she arrogantly overestimates the accessibility of soul, which requires more than just a hired black rhythm section.\n\nThis failed musical imperialism undermines Hynde's political theses just as surely as the liner-note proclamation that the album "was made without cruelty to animals" assumes that Hynde's vegetarianism doesn't contradict her fondness for leather apparel. The two self-critical songs are the most honest on the album, not only because Hynde's politics are seriously muddled but also because she's more eloquent about her own problems than about someone else's. The sympathy for abandoned mothers in "Chill Factor" is never more than an admirable gesture because Hynde can't sing the inadequate chorus -- "It's cold to leave a woman/With family on her own/It's chill factor/To the bone" -- with the same private fervor that made "Precious" and "Middle of the Road" convincing feminist tales.\n\nAlthough the first three songs on side one revolve around images of change, the album's highlights are the material that's most similar to Learning to Crawl -- Meg Keene's "Hymn to Her," a triumphant contemplation of female roles; the downcast "I Remember You"; the prayerful, country-ish "When I Change My Life"; and a crackling cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Room Full of Mirrors," which features the band from the last LP.\n\nAccording to Robbie McIntosh, the band's personnel and stylistic changes were precipitated by Hynde's appreciation for Madonna and Prince. If she's smart enough to be impressed by those artists, she should also have been smart enough to realize that "Brass in Pocket" and "Middle of the Road" were more soulful than anything on Get Close. (RS 491 -- Jan 15, 1987) -- ROB TANNENBAUM
This rock cd contains 17 tracks and runs 75min 4sec.
Freedb: ea119611
Buy: from Amazon.com

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  1. Pretenders - My Baby (04:07)
  2. Pretenders - When I Change My Life (03:37)
  3. Pretenders - Light Of The Moon (03:57)
  4. Pretenders - Dance! (06:46)
  5. Pretenders - Tradition Of Love (05:26)
  6. Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong (03:46)
  7. Pretenders - I Remember You (02:38)
  8. Pretenders - How Much Did You Get For Your Soul? (03:47)
  9. Pretenders - Chill Factor (03:27)
  10. Pretenders - Hymn To Her (04:58)
  11. Pretenders - Room Full Of Mirrors (04:43)
  12. Pretenders - Hold A Candle To This (Alternate Version) (03:44)
  13. Pretenders - World Within Worlds (Bonus Track) (03:47)
  14. Pretenders - Tradition Of Love (Remix) (06:13)
  15. Pretenders - Dance (Previously Unissued Take 1) (05:06)
  16. Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong (Live) (03:49)
  17. Pretenders - Thumbelina (Live) (05:01)


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