The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde to release Bob Dylan covers album, ‘Standing in the Doorway,’ on May 21

In March, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde revealed in a Facebook post that she was planning to release an album featuring the series of Bob Dylan covers she recorded last year with her band’s lead guitarist, James Walbourne, and now official details about the record have been announced.

The nine-track album, titled Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan, will be released as a digital download and via streaming services on May 21, while CD and vinyl-LP editions will follow on August 20.

The project was put together remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown, with Walbourne recording his initial musical ideas on his phone and sending them to Hynde so that she could add her vocals. Grammy-winning producer and engineer Tchad Blake then mixed the tracks, which got their premiere, one by one, along with a series of companion videos at The Pretenders’ official YouTube channel.

Hynde says she was inspired to record the Dylan covers a few weeks into the lockdown, after Walbourne sent her Dylan’s epic new song “Murder Most Foul,” partly about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“Listening to that song completely changed everything for me. I was lifted out of this morose mood that I’d been in,” she explains. “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.”

A documentary focusing on the making of Standing in the Doorway will premiere on U.K.’s Sky Arts channel on May 24, coinciding with Dylan’s 80th birthday. Details of a U.S. broadcast premiere will be announced soon.

Here’s the album’s track list:

“In the Summertime”
“You’re a Big Girl Now”
“Standing in the Doorway”
“Sweetheart Like You”
“Blind Willie McTell”
“Love Minus Zero/No Limit”
“Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight”
“Tomorrow Is a Long Time”
“Every Grain of Sand”

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