They're Special ... So Special
The long-awaited career-spanning Pretenders boxed set, "Pirate Radio," will finally see the light of day this week via Rhino.The long-awaited career-spanning Pretenders boxed set, "Pirate Radio," will finally see the light of day this week via Rhino. The package features four audio CDs plus a DVD loaded with album tracks, rarities and 15 previously unreleased selections from the Chrissie Hynde-led group, which was inducted last year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"Pirate Radio" begins with a previously unreleased Regent Park demo of "Precious" from the band's classic 1980 self-titled debut. In addition to rarities like the U.K. single version of "Talk of the Town" and a demo of "Watching the Clothes," the first disc features favorites like "Stop Your Sobbing," "The Wait," "Brass in Pocket" and "Message of Love."
Disc two is highlighted by the previously unreleased tracks "Tequila," "Reconsider Me" and "Worlds Within Worlds" plus alternate versions of "Hold a Candle to This" and "When I Change My Life." Familiar singles abound, including "Back on the Chain Gang," "My City Was Gone," "Middle of the Road" and "Don't Get Me Wrong."
The third disc of the box sports live runs through "Private Life," "Lovers of Today," "Criminal," "Revolution" and Radiohead's "Creep," plus a demo of "Every Mother's Son" and the original version of the B-side "Angel of the Morning." The final audio disc gathers previously unheard live takes of "The Homecoming," "Up the Neck" and "Fools Must Die" alongside covers of Morrissey's "Everyday Is Like Sunday" and Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Down."
The visual element of "Pirate Radio" draws from 1979 through 1995, including early career performances on the BBC's "Top of the Pops," a 1984 appearance on NBC's "The New Show" and a cover of Hendrix's "Room Full of Mirrors" from the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.