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Learning to Crawl (Expanded) Original recording remastered, Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Rhino-Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000NA2ALY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
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1. Middle Of The Road
2. Back On The Chain Gang
3. Time The Avenger
4. Watching The Clothes
5. Show Me
6. Thumbelina
7. My City Was Gone
8. Thin Line Between Love And Hate
9. I Hurt You
10. 2000 Miles
11. Fast Or Slow [The Law's The Law]
12. Tequila
13. I Hurt You
14. When I Change My Life
15. Ramblin' Rob
16. My City Was Gone
17. Money

Product Description

Product Description

Newly expanded and remastered editions of a pair of the legendary band's mid-career album masterpieces, boasting a wealth of previously unreleased and rare bonus tracks. LEARNING TO CRAWL, their stellar third album, debuted in 1984 and hit #5 on the Billboardr 200. Produced by Chris Thomas, features the all-time Pretenders classics Middle Of The Road, My City Was Gone, Show Me, and Back On The Chain Gang, a #5 pop single. Also includes the band's memorable cover of the Persuaders' '71 hit Thin Line Between Love And Hate, and Hynde's gorgeous contemporary Christmas classic 2000 Miles. Presents seven bonus tracks two previously unissued including live versions of My City Was Gone and Money. Bonus material also features three Denmark Street demos including I Hurt You and When I Change My Life.


The departure of bassist Pete Farndon, and the drug-related death of lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott in 1982, left Chrissie Hynde's Pretenders in disarray, but she and drummer Martin Chambers rallied to produce the stunning 1983 single, "Back on the Chain Gang" (dedicated to Scott), and over the course of the next year, cobbled together enough material for a new album, some of whose tracks included new members: guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster. Nontheless, the album held together due to Hynde's uniformly strong material, which ranged from the rocking, bluesy "Middle of the Road" to the near-protest tune "My City Was Gone," to the piercing "Time the Avenger." --Billy Altman --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It seems to be fairly unanimous that this CD and the first Pretenders album are the must-haves. This is a nearly-perfect album, no bad songs, several truly great ones. Some reviews suggest the band was never as good after the loss of two founding members. I'm not sure that's true, though of course it was never exactly the same, and I was struck by how much of that original sound re-emerged with this album - especially the guitars I'd thought were all Honeyman-Scott. After the letdown of Pretenders II, this album was a musical treat from the opening drums on Middle of the Road, which starts things off with as much force as Precious does on the first album. There isn't a better Pretenders song. Back on the Chain Gang was brilliant and brave. Time the Avenger has a great guitar riff that is reminiscent of the old pop song, Time Won't Let Me, and the lyrics are absolutely scathing. I disagree with the spotlight review about Watching the Clothes being abysmal - it's good musically, describes a universal tedious lonely experience, and is part of a perfect first side that ends with the touching "Show Me" written for her then-new daughter. As was the first song on side two, Thumbelina, which boldly appropriates a Johnny-Cash-like country riff and mixes it with the Pretenders sound in an experiment that turns into a great song. My City Was Gone isn't a personal favorite, but seems to be loved by everyone else. Thin Line and I Hurt You are the two weakest songs to me, but even these are both well done, well-loved by others, and 2000 Miles is a beautiful song and perfect wistful ending. You can't go wrong with this album. If you want to try the Pretenders, this is the obvious CD to start with, and if you're already a fan then you already know it's an essential.
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Format: Audio CD
When "Thumbelina" kicks in, I can feel the rigors up and down my spine. This is a timeless recording that mixes beautifully wonderful lyrics with memorable music. This recording is like a great road trip.
"Middle of the Road" and "Back on the Chain Gang" were big hits, but there are other wonderful gems on this. Robbie McIntosh on guitar is possessed: his "outside" playing on "Watching the Clothes" is positively stunning. And his relaxed melody on "Thumbelina" is chilling, while his finger-picking on "Middle of the Road" just about makes me cry.
There are no throw-aways on this CD. "I Hurt You" is a true-to-life song of vengeful feelings run amok, while "2000 Miles" is a beautiful piece of how many of us "middle-aged" rockers deal with separation from time to time: it's part of the business life you know?
But, of course, "My City Was Gone" is an anthem to all of us oldesters who remember when they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The simplicity of this song is its strength and what makes it timeless. This CD is pure genius. My only regret is that I never saw this particular phase of the Pretenders play live. I envy those of you who have.
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Format: Audio CD
Even though I'm a guy, Chrissie Hynde's amazing words resonate almost 20 years later. "Middle of the Road" is something all adults have to face at some point or another - are we really just like our parents?! Many others have alluded to the commentary of "My City Was Gone," and how it's been appropriated by Limbaugh and the "government that had no pride" (how ironic). I don't think any of the previous reviews mentioned the life-altering song that is "Show Me." Though this album has always been amazing from start to finish, for me "Show Me" has always been the tour de force. "Welcome here from outer space/The Milky Way still in your eyes" What a line! I saw the video to this one on VH1 Classic the other day and had tears in my eyes! It's just one of those songs that makes you glad to be ALIVE! The fills played by Martin Chambers on this song also elevate it to another plane (Martin deserves much of the credit for the way he DRIVES all these songs; he's certainly one of the most underrated drummers to ever hit the skins!). Add to that, the greatest Christmas song from the last 30 years ("2000 Miles") and you've got an album that just about exhausts all superlatives. At this ridiculously low price, you'd have to have permanent dain bramage to not make this a part of your life.
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Format: Audio CD
After the devastating loss of half of the original Pretenders, I was not expecting much from this record but 17 years later I am still pleasantly surprised. Chrissie's songwriting is so strong that it almost makes up for the absence of Pete Farndon and James Honeyman Scott. No longer the snotty punk of the first two records, this album brims with maturity--(It scares me how all of a sudden I identify with Middle of the Road and Time the Avenger)
I Hurt You does a slowburn blues and Paul Carrack plays keyboards on Thin Line Between Love and Hate, an outstanding cover. Watching the Clothes is kind of irritating but as a whole this is a very good cd. Although I cant help but wonder just what could have been--Just imagine a revved up Thumbelina with Pete Farndon's pumping bass and James Honeyman Scott's guitar slashing across the top before disintegrating into a manic Tattoed Love Boys style solo.
Amazingly Chrissie Hynde's songwriting took a nosedive after this album--the first three cds are all you would ever need.
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