One way I measure the effectiveness of a rock song is by its ability to inspire me to jump around and want to break stuff. There are a few records that inspire this, but one is the Pretender’s hit ‘Middle of the Road’ off of their third album Learning to Crawl. That album was a comeback of sorts, given that two of the members of the original line-up – guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon – died in a very short span before the commencement of a third album.

Guitarist Robbie Macintosh was brought on board, and fueled by the drive to move forward with the band as a tribute to Scott in particular, leader Chrissie Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers made this very solid album, featuring ‘Road’, along with massive radio hit ‘Back on the Chain Gang’ which was in part about coping with the loss of her former band mates.

In any case, here’s a clip of the band in 2003, performing the song which remains to be one of my favourites:

The Pretenders

Hover over the image and click the ‘play’ icon. Click the magnifying glass icon to enlarge the window.


2 thoughts on “The Pretenders Perform ‘Middle of the Road’ in 2003

  1. What a great song. Chrissie was very savvy in picking McIntosh to join the band, as he was and is a great Guitarist, filling a massive void that was left by the loss of Honeyman-Scott. That third album was an unexpected return to top form for me, particularly as “Pretenders II” was a big disappointment after one of my favourite debut albums of all time.

  2. This tune always makes the hairs on the back of my neck go up. And I love that wicked harmonica break too – not enough of those in rock songs these days!

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