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Mobile Fidelity’s pressing of The Pretenders retains much of the fire of the original Sire Records US pressing while adding space around the instruments and a deeper soundstage. Chrissy Hynde’s voice comes out into the room with the instruments layered behind her in support. Small details, such as the touch of reverb that Chris Thomas added to Hynde’s singing, are easier to hear and Chris Farndon’s bass lines are larger and have even greater impact.
Kreig Wunderlich’s mastering backs off on the compression of the earlier pressing a bit, but pushing the volume up brings back the excitement of the original while bringing out elements of the recording more clearly. Hynde’s voice is more textured and expressive, James Honeyman Scott’s guitar is deeper and more complex even in the passages where it snarls, and Martin Chambers’ drums sound even grander and more impressive.
You might miss the slight grittiness of the earlier pressing, but pulling the volume up just a bit gave me the excitement I always experienced from this record, but with more transparency and depth.
Last chance to change your mind...