1. "Precious" 3:36
2. "The Phone Call" 2:29
3. "Up the Neck" 4:27
4. "Tattooed Love Boys" 2:59
5. "Space Invader" (Pete Farndon, James Honeyman-Scott) 3:26
6. "The Wait" (Hynde, Farndon) 3:35
7. "Stop Your Sobbing" (Ray Davies) 2:38 (produced by Nick Lowe)
8. "Kid" 3:06
9. "Private Life" 6:25
10. "Brass in Pocket" (Honeyman-Scott, Hynde) 3:04
11. "Lovers of Today" 5:51
12. "Mystery Achievement" 5:23
Pretenders is an album by The Pretenders, released on 19 January 1980 on Real Records (Sire Records in the United States). A mix of hard rock, punk, and New Wave, Pretenders established the band's career. This album, their first, compiles several previously-released tracks from their 1979 singles "Stop Your Sobbing"/"The Wait," "Kid"/"Tattooed Love Boys," and "Brass in Pocket"/"Swinging London"/"Nervous but Shy," as well as seven new tracks (and a re-recorded version of "The Wait").
Nick Lowe produced the Pretenders first single, "Stop Your Sobbing", but declined working with them again as he felt the band "wasn't going anywhere". Chris Thomas took over on the subsequent recording sessions.
Pretenders shot straight to number 1 on the UK Albums Chart on the week of its release and stayed there for four consecutive weeks. It also made it into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum in 1982 by the RIAA. Pretenders has been named one of the best albums of all time by VH1 (#52). In 2003, the album was ranked number 155 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1989, the same magazine ranked it the 20th best album of the 1980s.
The track "Private Life" was covered that same year by Grace Jones, on her album Warm Leatherette.
Pretenders was remastered and re-released in 2006 and included a bonus disc of demos, B-sides, and live cuts, many previously unreleased. "Cuban Slide" and "Porcelain" originally appeared as B-sides to "Talk of the Town" and "Message of Love," while "Swinging London" and "Nervous but Shy" both appeared on the flip side of "Brass in Pocket." The Regents Park Demo of "Stop Your Sobbing" was included initially as a flexi-single in the May 1981 edition of Flexipop magazine. The tracks "Message of Love", "Talk of the Town", "Porcelain" and "Cuban Slide" alongside a live version of the album's opening track Precious, were released on a follow-up EP entitled Extended Play soon after. "Message of Love" contains the Oscar Wilde line "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" from the play Lady Windermere's Fan.1
A shortened version of "Tequila" would turn up nearly fifteen years later on the Last of the Independents. "Sabre Dance" features Chrissie Hynde singing portions of "Stop Your Sobbing" over lengthy solos by James Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers' insistent drumming, making it a truly unique version.
The song "Tattooed Love Boys" is featured as a playable track in the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 music video game Guitar Hero II, in the String Snappers (PlayStation 2) and Return of the Shred (Xbox 360) tiers. The instrumental "Space Invader" contains sound effects from the video game Space Invaders. "Private Life" is featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on fictional radio station Emotion 98.3. A cover version of Brass In Pocket and the master version of Precious are available as Rock Band DLC.