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Learning to Crawl, The Pretenders

Year: 1984

Influences: 70s hippie movement, Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones

This is another one of those albums that I treasured as a teenager and that, over the years has become an all-time favorite.

The Pretenders is one of the few women-led bands, the Akron Ohio native, Chrissie Hynde. I always thought they had a British heritage, their music and style didn't seem American, and when I heard that Chrissie was from Ohio, it seemed strange. I later learned that while She was born in the US, she established herself as a musician in the Punk scene in London, and some of her band members are British. And not only until I came to live in Cleveland and got familiar with the area (we are 1 hr away from Akron) that I understood her song "My City Was Gone." I hope one of these days she plays a concert here, it'll be great to observe the audience's reaction.

This band is simply a great rock band, and this is a great rock album. My introduction to it was the song "Middle of the Road" which was a hit in 1984, but the album is great from beginning to end. Another song that grew on me over the years was "Thumbelina," its rockabilly rhythm is beautiful but what caught me were the lyrics:

Hush little baby, don't you cry

When we get to Tucson you'll see why

We left the snowstorms and the thunder and rain

For the desert sun, we're gonna be born again

I love how in four short phrases a person can describe the beauty of Arizona.

As I said with Regatta de Blanc, "Learning to Crawl" is always worth a listen.

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