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Message of Love

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Message of Love"
Message of Love - Pretenders.jpg
Single by The Pretenders
from the album Pretenders II
ReleasedFebruary 1981
Format7" single
Recorded1980, Paris[1]
GenreRock,[2][3] new wave
Songwriter(s)Chrissie Hynde
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
The Pretenders singles chronology
"Talk of the Town"
"Message of Love"
"Day After Day"
"Talk of the Town"
"Message of Love"
"Day After Day"

"Message of Love" is a song written by Chrissie Hynde and performed by the Pretenders. Released first as a single and then on the Pretenders' 1981 EP Extended Play, it was later re-released on the band's 1981 album Pretenders II.

A band effort largely composed in the studio, the song was a radio hit and reached number 11 in the United Kingdom. It has since been praised by critics as a highlight of Pretenders II.


According to drummer Martin Chambers, the song was largely formed in the studio based on a rough sketch presented by Hynde.[4] Chambers explained, "We never really got into the studio without any rehearsal and record[ed] a song, [but] we have done that once and that was 'Message of Love'. ... [Hynde] likes to come to [the band] when she has [a song] finished in her mind ... but this time she hadn't really finished it and so we just ... rehearsed it already set up in the studio and it was on tape in two hours, basically."[4] The song, as bassist Pete Farndon said, initially featured multiple sound effects (among them were sounds of car accidents recorded by the band on Paris streets) but most of them were removed from the final released version.[4]

"Message of Love", one of the first songs created following Pretenders, was recorded in Paris.[1] At the time of the creation of Pretenders II, Hynde found confidence in the song's radio success, saying "I knew that people still liked us and we were getting airplay with 'Message of Love', 'Talk of the Town', [and] 'I Go to Sleep'".[1]

Music and lyrics

Described by Stewart Mason of Allmusic as a "fairly standard rocker", "Message of Love" features a "a stop-start beat ... with skittering snare fills that give the song a paradoxically driving rhythm."[2] The song was characterized by Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine as a "tough" rocker.[3] Lyrically, the song features, as described by Mason, "undistinguished 'love power' lyrics".[2] The song quotes Oscar Wilde with the lyric, "We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars".[2]

Release and reception

"Message of Love" was initially released as a single in February 1981. The B-side of the single was "Porcelain" (another Extended Play track). The single was a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom, entering the charts at number 28 and peaking at number 11 in its second week on the charts.[5] The single also saw some success in the United States, reaching number five on the Mainstream Rock chart and number 44 on the Dance Club chart.[6][7] The song was also released on the band's Extended Play in March 1981. In late 1981, the song was re-released on the band's second studio album, Pretenders II.

Stewart Mason of Allmusic praised the performances of bassist Pete Farndon and drummer Martin Chambers on the song and described the track as "unfairly overlooked by all but the Pretenders' biggest fans."[2] Sean Murphy of Pop Matters said that the song, along with fellow Pretenders II singles "Talk of the Town" and "Day After Day", "richly deserve their rotation on less imaginative DJ's play lists".[8] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune called it a "fine single".[9]


  1. ^ a b c Hynde, Chrissie (9 August 2016). Reckless: My Life as a Pretender (Reprint ed.). Anchor. ISBN 978-1101912232. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mason, Stewart. "Message of Love". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pretenders II". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Jackson, J.J. (interviewer) (1981). Martin Chambers & Pete Farndon Interview (Television production). MTV.
  5. ^ "Pretenders". Official Charts. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Pretenders Chart History - Mainstream Rock". Billboard. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Pretenders Chart History - Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  8. ^ Murphy, Sean (16 November 2006). "The Pretenders: Pretenders". PopMatters. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (12 August 1990). "The Best Of The Pretenders". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
This page was last edited on 10 November 2017, at 00:50
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