The Pretender (5:52)

Cover of The Next Voice You Hear: The Best of Jackson Browne

From The Next Voice You Hear: The Best of Jackson Browne and 24 other releases

This song is about a man who gives up his dreams and lives a life of routine monotony in order to accumulate money. He is the pretender.
Browne’s first wife, Phyllis, committed suicide in the spring of 1976, but in the wake of the tragedy he recorded his commercial breakthrough album, The Pretender. The record climbed into the Top 10 upon its fall 1976 release, going platinum in the spring of 1977.
This appears on the soundtrack of the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus…

Browne said in Rolling Stone, October 16, 2008: “‘The Pretender’ took a long time. It’s not that I worked on it every day; I was reluctant to finish it before I had gotten all there was out of it. Songwriting is a search. Most of my songs set up a bunch of questions, and it takes a while to answer them…Lost in life.

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