Break Up the Concrete

Album: Break Up the Concrete (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is a call to take on the physical decay of America. Frontwoman Chrissie Hynde told Rolling Stone magazine; "On our last tour I looked out a bus window and all I saw was concrete. For months, all I thought was 'Break up the f--king concrete.'"
  • Break Up the Concrete was the ninth Pretenders studio album and their first to be recorded in its entirety in the United States. It was finished after just 12 days.

    Released on the small label Shangri-La, it was the first Pretenders album since 2002, and it featured a different sound for the band. Inspired by a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California, Chrissie Hynde went with a rooty, and more distinctly American sound. To achieve this, she enlisted guitarist James Walbourne and bassist Nick Wilkinson. She also used drummer Jim Keltner instead of her Pretenders mainstay Martin Chambers, since she wanted a different feel. Keltner is one of the most accomplished drummers in Rock, having played on seminal albums by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Elton John and many others.

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