Kid (Pretenders song)

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"Kid"
Single by The Pretenders
from the album Pretenders
B-side "Tattooed Love Boys"
Released June 1979
Format 7" single
Recorded 1979
Genre New wave
Length 3:03
Label Real, Sire (US)
Writer(s) Chrissie Hynde
Producer(s) Chris Thomas
The Pretenders singles chronology
"Stop Your Sobbing"
(1979)
"Kid"
(1979)
"Brass in Pocket"
(1979)

"Kid" is a song written by Chrissie Hynde that was released on the Pretenders 1980 debut album Pretenders. It was also released as a single and reached #33 in the UK. It has been covered by several other artists, including Everything but the Girl.

Pretenders version[edit]

Author Alex Ogg describes "Kid" as a "resonant ballad."[1] The lyrics express the singer's devotion to the listener, who may be her child, but could also be her lover or just a friend.[2] Allmusic critic Stewart Mason calls it "an all-time classic rock and roll love song" and "probably the [Pretenders]' masterpiece."[2] He particularly praises Hynde's "beautiful and emotional" lead vocals, and James Honeyman-Scott's lead guitar playing, which he says sounds like the Byrds at times but also sounds tougher when necessary.[2] Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine also praised how Honeyman-Scott's "unconventional" playing adds additional dimensions to the "measured pop" of "Kid."[3] Author Jeremy Simmonds said of "Kid" that it"showed the group's complete mastery of sixties hooks with sharp. confident new wave leanings."[4] Rolling Stone Album Guide critic J.D. Considine praises how melody expresses "emotional vulnerability."[5] Considine also praises how the band adds "soul" to the song's "sentimentality."[5] According to Mason, the Pretenders' later single "Show Me" was partially a rewrite of "Kid."[6]

"Kid" was released as the Pretenders' second single in 1979, prior to the release of their debut album, following "Stop Your Sobbing." It performed slightly better on the UK charts than "Stop Your Sobbing," reaching #33 whereas "Stop Your Sobbing" reached #34.[7] However, the band's follow up single "Brass in Pocket" performed even better, reaching #1.[7]

Since its original release, "Kid" has appeared on a number of Pretenders' compilation albums. including The Singles and Greatest Hits.[8][9] It also appears on the live album The Isle of View, in which Hynde is backed by a string quartet, in what Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes as a "poorly conceived" version.[10]

Cover versions[edit]

Everything but the Girl covered "Kid" on the US version of their 1985 album Love Not Money, with Tracey Thorn playing piano and singing solo vocal.[2][11] Allmusic's Mason praised this as the best cover version of "Kid."[2] However, fellow Allmusic critic William Ruhlmann claimed that adding the song to the US version did not enhance the album's appeal.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ogg. A. (2003). Buckley, P., ed. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. pp. 814–815. ISBN 9781843531050. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mason, S. "Kid". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, S.T.. "Pretenders". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  4. ^ Simmonds, J. (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 165. ISBN 9781556527548. 
  5. ^ a b Considine, J.D. (1992). DeCurtis, A., Henke, J. & George-Warren, H., ed. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Straight Arrow Publishers. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0679737294. 
  6. ^ Mason, S. "Show Me". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Pretenders UK singles". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  8. ^ Greenwald, M. "Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  9. ^ Prato, G,. "Greatest Hits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  10. ^ Erlewine, S.T.. "The Isle of View". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  11. ^ a b Ruhlmann, W. "Love Not Money". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 

External links[edit]