Anyone who knows me closely knows: I never cry.
However, for some reason, this song ("Back On The Chain Gang," by The Pretenders) makes me cry every time I hear it.
It's not a slow ballad; it's not a tear-jerker. It's a straightforward, mid-tempo rocker. It shouldn't make me feel sad.But somehow, whenever I hear that opening wash of Telecaster chords, my eyes moisten. By the end of the song, I'm a wreck.
This video proves that Chrissie Hynde (maybe the most unexpectedly sexy woman in rock and roll) knew it was sad song. Watch her performance from the middle of the bridge, at the 2:16 mark, until the end. She's almost weeping. Her vocals are transplendent - plaintive, raw, orgasmic... It's clear – this song is very special to her.
It's special to me, too, but I'm still not sure why. I think I'll watch it again and cry some more.
[Ohio native Chrissie Hynde was attending Kent State during the tragic shootings. She moved to London, started a band, fell in love with Kinks frontman Ray Davies, but eventually divorced. She's now considered one of the hippest, most important female voices in rock history, and is clearly a major influence for Karen O., lead singer of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, among others.]