(out now through Liberator Music/BMG)

Disc one

  1. Room In My House
  2. Nothing To Live Down
  3. It’s Not Easy
  4. Said I’m Sorry
  5. Victoria
  6. Better Days
  7. Enemies And Friends
  8. Star Crossed Lovers
  9. Hang on
  10. Butterfly On A Wheel
  11. People Will Talk
  12. Invincible

Disco two

  1. Alone (Live at Glastonbury Festival, UK, 23 June 2017)
  2. Gotta Wait (Live at Bospop Festival, The Netherlands, 8 July 2017)
  3. Message of Love (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017)
  4. Private Life (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017)
  5. Down the Wrong Way (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017)
  6. Don’t Get Me Wrong (Live at Glastonbury Festival, UK, 23 June 2017)
  7. Night in My Veins (Live at Glastonbury Festival, UK, 23 June 2017)
  8. Let’s Get Lost (Live at La Salle Pleyel, Paris, 26 June 2017)
  9. I Hate Myself (Live at La Salle Pleyel, Paris, 26 June 2017)
  10. I’ll Stand by You (Live at The Isle Of Wight Festival, UK, 9 June 2017)
  11. Boots of Chinese Plastic (Live at EDP Jazz Festival, Portugal, 19 July 2017)
  12. Thumbelina (Live at EDP Jazz Festival, Portugal, 19 July 2017)
  13. Up the Neck (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017)
  14. Mystery Achievement (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017)
  15. Middle of the Road (Live at Austin City Limits, Texas, 13 March 2017

Legendary band Pretenders made their exhilarating return last year with the release of a new album Alone, their first new music in eight years. Now, Pretenders have released a Special Edition of Alone, containing 15 new live recordings of classic Pretenders tracks.

Alone (Special Edition) features tracks recorded live at festivals across the world, following an extensive year of touring for Pretenders. Recorded at festivals including Glastonbury, Austin City Limits and The Isle Of Wight Festival, the live tracks were painstakingly compiled over a laborious fortnight by Chrissie Hynde, James Walbourne, live sound engineer Pete Bartlett and studio-wizz Dave McCracken.

Originally intended as a follow-up to Chrissie Hynde’s 2014 solo album Stockholm, when recording Alone it soon dawned that those driving guitars, ragged but righteous arrangements, tough yet tender lyrics delivered by the most beautifully distinctive voice of a generation, sounded fantastically familiar – Pretenders were back. 36 years after their remarkable self-titled debut album, Alone could be the older, wiser, and badder sister to that exhilarating debut.

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.”

“It’s a riot,” announces Chrissie Hynde, “I am blown away myself. I really am. Every time I hear it, it just makes me laugh. To me if you are laughing it is rock and roll. I don’t know how we achieved it but it sounds classic. I guess the team just went out and scored some goals.”

The title track ‘Alone’ is a superbly spiky take on the joys of solitude. While ‘Alone’ is unique in its outlook, and deliciously defiant in execution, the most immediately arresting lyric on the album is the open-a-vein honesty of ‘I Hate Myself’. Meanwhile, ‘The Man You Are’ – ostensibly a simple love song – expresses a distinct distaste for money worshippers. Romantic resignation also runs through the album like a river, in ballads such as the wistful ‘Blue Eyed Sky’ and the aching ‘One More Day’. Even the softly-crooned ‘Roadie Man’ is wreathed in yearning. Hynde’s famously acerbic side is well served by the pounding, impatient ‘Gotta Wait’ and the dumped and indignant ‘Chord Lord’. The sole songwriting collaboration on Alone is with contemporary hit-makers Amanda Ghost and Dave McCracken, a seductive entreaty called ‘Let’s Get Lost’. Meanwhile, Duane Eddy features on ‘Never Be Together’, where the twangtastic 78 year old’s elegant contribution poignantly complements the album’s beguiling glow of vintage valves and shadowy mystery. ‘Death Is Not Enough’, written by Marek Rymaszewski, is a show stopper in every sense.

“There is quite a lot of death on this album,” she reflects. “The first song ‘Alone’ ends up in a graveyard talking to someone who has died. Then the second-last song is ‘Death Is Not Enough’, which to me sounds like you’re talking to someone who is lying in a coffin. So the album begins and ends with the recurring theme of death.”

Alone was recorded in Nashville with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who stood as captain, producer, and multi-instrumentalist on the record, and was mixed by Tchad Blake (Arctic Monkeys, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello). The full band joining Chrissie and Dan on Alone features Johnny Cash’s formed bass played Dave Roe, country rocker Kenny Vaughan on guitar, plus sundry members of Dan’s side project The Arcs. Duane Eddy also features on the punchy ‘Never Be Together’.

ALONE (SPECIAL EDITION) IS OUT NOW | | Twitter: @chrissiehynde