23980-1 Learning To Crawl
Produced by Chris Thomas
Released on November 1983
US CHART POSITION #5 . . . PLATINUM RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #11
Find it at GEMM
23980-1 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

M aking the news for all the wrong reasons, The Pretenders finally managed to make a third album that caused critics to fall in love with them anew. Learning To Crawl was one of the best rock records of 1983, not a slouchy year like 1984 incidentally. It is also the beneficiary of an earlier single that marked the peak of The Pretenders’ achievement: “Back on the Chain Gang” b/w “My City Was Gone.” Any album with those two songs on it was bound to be good. Crawl kicked two more gems into the kitty (“Middle of the Road,” “2000 Miles”) and The Pretenders were bound for greatness (again). Those four songs form the face cards of the royal straight, “Show Me” the ten of hearts. The remaining five songs inevitably end up in the discard pile. You could make a case for “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” or “Time the Avenger” if you were building a shrine to Chrissie Hynde, maybe even “Thumbelina,” but if that were the case we’d be discussing how brilliant Pretenders II was and we’re not. The achievement of Learning To Crawl lies in five, maybe six, great songs and a handful of average songs sung by the person who wrote the great songs you were just listening to. Unfortunately, Learning To Crawl turned out to be a tease; instead of releasing an album every year, it became every few years, and critics turned their attention elsewhere. For a moment, though, The Pretenders seemed poised to steal the crown of rock and roll and put it on the head of a woman.

TRACK LISTING

  1. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD    4:08
  2. BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG    3:44
  3. TIME THE AVENGER    4:47
  4. WATCHING THE CLOTHES    2:46
  5. SHOW ME    4:00
  6. THUMBELINA    3:12
  7. MY CITY WAS GONE    5:14
  8. THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE    (Rich & Rob Poindexter/Jackie Members)    3:33
  9. I HURT YOU    4:27
  10. 2000 MILES    3:30

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. FAST OR SLOW (THE LAW'S THE LAW)
  12. TEQUILA
  13. I HURT YOU (DEMO)
  14. WHEN I CHANGE MY LIFE
  15. RAMBLIN' ROB
  16. MY CITY WAS GONE (LIVE)
  17. MONEY (LIVE)

    All songs written by Chrissie Hynde unless noted

CREDITS

MARTIN CHAMBERS -- drums, vocals
MALCOLM FOSTER -- bass guitar, vocals
CHRISSIE HYNDE -- guitar, vocals
ROBBIE McINTOSH -- guitar, vocals
Andrew Bodner (sic) -- bass guitar and vocals (8)
Billy Bremner -- lead guitar (2,7), rhythm guitar and vocals (8)
Tony Butler -- bass guitar (2,7)
Paul Carrack -- piano and vocals (8)
Steve Churchyard -- engineer
Paul Cox -- front cover photograph
Alyssa Cooper -- back cover photograph
Donna Santisi and Robert Matheu -- inner bag
Pete Barrett -- art direction

return to THE PRETENDERS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1983 Sire LP/CS 23980 picture sleeve
BRA 1983 WEA LP 28008  
CAN/GER 1983 Sire LP 92 39801 picture sleeve
JPN 1983 Sire LP 25PP-111 picture sleeve
UK January 1984 WEA LP WX-2 picture sleeve
US   Sire CD 23980  
US June 4, 2007 Rhino CDX 79998 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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