Hans’ Pick of the Day

Back on the Chain Gang” is a song by The Pretenders from their third studio album Learning to Crawl (1984). It was released as the album’s first single in 1982 (see 1982 in music), two years before the album was released, and reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as the band’s highest charting single, number four on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 17 in the United Kingdom.

The song was originally going to be about Ray Davies, leader of the band The Kinks. Hynde and Davies were a couple and had a daughter together, but the meaning of the song changed after James Honeyman-Scott, the Pretenders guitarist, died of a drug overdose at the age of 25 in 1982.

The memorable chain-gang chant heard during the chorus of the song echoes a similar chant on Sam Cooke‘s song “Chain Gang.”

Back On The Chain Gang – Pretenders (HQ Audio)

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