Saturday, September 14, 2019

"Don't Get Me Wrong" by The Pretenders

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2891
Date:  10/11/1986
Debut:  88
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  Although this band went through some changes prior to recording their third album, 1984's Learning to Crawl (#5, platinum), it was nothing compared to the chaos that preceded their next LP, Get Close. Members were either fired or left and after recording one song with producer Steve Lillywhite, they switched gears and began to work with Bob Clearmountain and Jimmy Iovine. In the end, Chrissie Hynde was the only original Pretender left in the new lineup and session musicians were brought in to help fill out the band. The album finally got completed and this first single was issued out. It ended up doing well reaching #1 at Rock while becoming the band's second (and final) Pop Top 10 hit. It also got to #28 at AC. The hit was a good reward for working through all the tumult, but it all wasn't over yet. By the time the supporting tour for the LP was over and worked needed to start on a new album, The Pretenders basically consisted of just one person - Chrissie Hynde.

ReduxReview:  This is certainly the most poppy thing to ever come from Hynde and Co. The band was more known for their tough-edged rock tunes so this jangly little ditty came as a bit of a surprise. It was expertly crafted and performed with an easy, relaxed vocal from Hynde. It's one of those songs that is just nice to hear. The hooks were solid and it sounded great on the radio. The video, which had an Avengers theme (the British TV series, not the superhero stuff), was also popular and helped the song up the chart. An excellent stab at straight ahead pop from Hynde.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  When The Pretenders were featured on an episode of VH1's popular Storytellers series, Chrissie Hynde shared the inspiration behind the song. She had been friends with tennis star John McEnroe, who was a big rock music fan. Although Hynde didn't really watch tennis, she knew about McEnroe's bad boy image on the court and felt that he was a bit misunderstood. So she set out to write a song for him titled "Don't Get Me Wrong." She wrote part of the song while on a British Airways flight and then finished it up later. Not too long after, Hynde took another British Airways flight. When the in-flight announcement came on, it started with four tones followed by something like "welcome to British Airways." Hynde then realized that the four tones were the same as the melody line when she sings "don't get me wrong." Since she began writing the song on a BA flight, she could only assume that the melody came from the four announcement tones she had heard.


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