8/12/14 – Pretenders – Brass In Pocket – 1979

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

Pretenders 1979“I’m special, so special, I’ve gotta have some of your attention, give it to me”. Released in 1979, Brass In Pocket was the first British No.1 single of the eighties and arguably the best No.1 song of the decade. Written by Chrissie Hynde and James Honeyman-Scott, Hynde’s seductive, love me or I’ll kick your ass delivery sent the song to No.1, or at least the Top Ten all over the world.

Allegedly Hynde wasn’t happy with the song and had to be convinced by producer Chris Thomas to release it. The band’s contribution is immense, not just Honeyman-Scott’s chords and playing but Martin Chambers’ and Pete Farndon’s feel give the song an unusual swing that may only have been possible when played by these particular people – that’s musical chemistry, that’s magic and when it happens it takes hold of you, lifts you up and transports you to another place.

The lyric to this song is fascinating in its mix of English and American terms – “Detroit Leaning”, “bottle”, “brass in pocket”, “Skank”, “reet”. I always thought that the line “Gonna use my sidestep” was “Gonna use my sassy” meaning any of these terms:

1. Rude and disrespectful; impudent.
2. Lively and spirited; jaunty.
3. Stylish; chic: a sassy little hat.

Listening to the song, neither sounds correct? Which is it?

Got brass in pocket
Got bottle, I’m gonna use it
Intention I feel inventive
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

Got motion, restrained emotion
Been driving uh, Detroit leaning
No reason, just seems so pleasing
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style
Gonna use my side step
Gonna use my fingers
Gonna use my, my, my, imagination

‘Cause I going make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
I got to have some of your attention, give it to me!

Got rhythm, I can’t miss a beat
Got a new skank, so reet
Got something, I’m winking at you
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use style
Gonna use my side step
Gonna use my fingers, gon’ use my, my, my imagination

Oh, ’cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
I got to have some of your attention, give it to me!

‘Cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
I got to have some of your attention, give it to me!

Oh, when you walk

Songwriters
Hynde, Christine Ellen / Honeyman-Scott, James
Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Years ago I read somewhere that they had to use the demo backing track because they couldn’t recapture that original ‘special’ feel from when they first recorded it. Everyone of my generation knows this song and it might be hard to make an article interesting about a song so familiar when there’s so many obscure classics out there but the song is now 35 years old, I thought it deserved a mention.

A few years ago touring with The Pretenders, I saw them play every night. I watched them 11 times in a row and I never got tired of Chrissie Hynde’s voice. Martin Chambers was on drums, Adam Seymour on guitar and Nick Wilkinson on bass. Adam has since left replaced by James Walbourne, guitarist with The Rails.

On the tour I remember hearing the band jam on Private Lives although they never played it on the tour. They played Brass In Pocket, once – in Tasmania and Chrissie Hynde sang it as beautifully and as insistently as ever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_in_Pocket

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrissie_Hynde

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pretenders

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “8/12/14 – Pretenders – Brass In Pocket – 1979”