QUIZ: How well do you know The Pretenders?

The Pretenders have had their ups and downs since Chrissie Hynde launched the band in 1978. Take our quiz to see how well you know them.

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SiriusXM Editor
September 6, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN – 1980: The British rock band The Pretenders pose in front of their tour bus during their first American 1980 concert tour stop in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

The British rock group The Pretenders have their cool on a long and rocky road — and it doesn’t get much cooler than Chrissie Hynde, the songwriting force behind the band. Hynde was originally from Akron, Ohio and moved to Europe, ostensibly to be a music journalist, although she ultimately spent her time meeting and playing with other burgeoning bands, often leaving the lineup just as the groups hit it big. Her almost-was experience eventually led her to form The Pretenders in 1978. She quickly found her stride as a rock star after the band’s single “Brass in Pocket” hit No. 1 on the U.K. charts and No. 14 on the US Billboard charts the next year.

Sadly, soon after the band released its first album, two of the founding members, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, died suddenly of drug-related causes. The two surviving members, Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers, are still navigating the fallout from their sudden deaths. Chambers himself was fired from the band in 1985 and rejoined in 1994. At The Pretenders’ induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, Hynde called the group’s current incarnation “a tribute” to its original lineup.

Chambers and Hynde have always managed to bounce back, in no small part due to Hynde’s inventive guitar playing, effortless sense of style and singular voice, which can evoke detachment or intense desire depending on the song. Hynde has never been shy about speaking her mind or singing her truth, whether she’s pondering a mid-life crisis (Middle of the Road), spitting a scathing indictment (Pack It Up) or promising a lover her unyielding loyalty (I’ll Stand By You).

Then again, it’s not so easy to summarize the contents of any Pretenders song, and the band continues to surprise, having released their latest album, Alone, in 2016. Hynde herself has collaborated with several artists — The Specials, INXS, Morrissey, UB40, Ringo Starr, U2, Frank Sinatra and others. Despite her strong songwriting skills, Hynde only just launched a solo career in 2014 with the album Stockholm.

Take our quiz below to test your knowledge of The Pretenders — you might just find yourself surprised by them again.

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Hear The Pretenders on 1st Wave on Ch. 33.