This song was named after a real London nightspot. Located in Leicester Square, it opened in 1900 as "The London Hippodrome," and it hosted various circus acts, variety shows and musical performances. In 1958 is was renovated and reopened as "The Talk of the Town," becoming a cabaret restaurant where many artists would perform, including Frank Sinatra and The Temptations. It closed in 1982 and was revived as a nightclub called "The Hippodrome." In 2009, it was once again closed, this time with plans to make it a casino.
The lyrics are filled with a longing for a seemingly unobtainable love. It is thought that they refer to Ray Davies, the frontman of the Kinks who later fathered Chrissie Hynde's child.
Chrissie Hynde shared the inspiration for the song during a performance on the BBC Songwriters Circle program in 1999: "I had in mind this kid who used to stand outside the soundchecks on our first tour... I never spoke to him. I remember that the last time I saw him I just left him standing in the snow, I never had anything to say to him. I kind of wrote this for him, so, in the unlikely event that you're watching this, I did think about you."
Special Monkey from New YorkI just realized what a great song this was recently after hearing it a few days ago on WFUV, I'm so late! The structure is amazing and lyrics a bit unpredictable (asymmetric maybe?), and I like that so much. It's challenging to try to remember and sing along. It's definitely a song about longing and admiration, but I really like the structure of the lyrics and Chrissie's voice, her pronunciation of certain words, and the phrasing.
Jim from Long Beach, CaMike, I disagree with you. This is one of the Pretenders finest.I agree about the opening riff it truly takes me back to that place when I first heard this great song. My sophomore year in high school, that is when time stood still..
Mike from Matawan, NjThis is not just one of the Pretenders finest, but one of the finest songs of that era. The minute I hear that opening riff it takes me back to that place.
Matt from Atlanta, GaABSOLUTELY one of the best songs of the 80's. I'm a true rock and roller. I never warmed up to punk, but I learned to live with New Wave. I was 20 and in love. I thought this was the coolest song. I saw them live at UNH. Chrissie is such a bad ass!