I woud listen to Chrissie Hynde sing the text of the owner’s manual for a kitchen appliance. Hearing her croon a gorgeously lush slate of Bob Dylan oldies and deep cuts — with the capable assistance of Pretenders‘ guitarist James Walbourne — is certainly a step or three above that. Of course, I would like it even better if she had spent a few bucks to re-record these YouTube performances in a proper studio — or at least upgrade the brittle streaming-quality audio on these tracks. You would think she must have access to better home-recording gear than this. But does she still have the owner’s manual?
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Standing In The Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan includes new interpretations of such Dylan songs as You’re a Big Girl Now, Love Minus Zero / No Limit, Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight and Every Grain of Sand, recorded last year during lockdown by Hynde and her Pretenders bandmate, James Walbourne. The nine-track collection was made almost exclusively via text message, with Walbourne recording an initial musical idea on his phone and then sending it off to Hynde to add her vocal. The new versions were then mixed by multiple Grammy-winning producer/engineer/mixer Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Fiona Apple) before premiering via The Pretenders’ official YouTube channel.
“A few weeks into lockdown last year, James sent me the new Dylan track, Murder Most Foul,” Hynde says. “Listening to that song completely changed everything for me. I was lifted out of this morose mood that I’d been in. I remember where I was sitting the day that Kennedy was shot — every reference in the song. Whatever Bob does, he still manages somewhere in there to make you laugh because as much as anything, he’s a comedian. He’s always funny and always has something to say. I called James and said, ‘Let’s do some Dylan covers,’ and that’s what started this whole thing.”
The intimate process behind Standing In The Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan will be featured in Tomorrow Is A Long Time, a documentary by International Emmy-winning filmmakers Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt (Romeo & Juliet: Beyond Words, BalletBoyz) premiering in the U.K. on Monday, May 24 in celebration of Dylan’s 80th birthday; a U.S. broadcast premiere will be announced soon.”