Pretending (Eric Clapton song)

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Australian single cover
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album Journeyman
B-side "Before You Accuse Me"
Released November 1989
Genre Blues/rock
Length 4:48
Label Reprise Records
Writer(s) Jerry Lynn Williams
Producer(s) Russ Titelman

"Pretending" is a rock song written and composed by Jerry Lynn Williams. It was released in 1989 on Eric Clapton's Journeyman as the first track of the album. The song was released as the lead single from the album, backed with "Hard Times," and reached #55 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the album's highest-charting single on that chart.[1] It was also #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[1] Music journalist Astrid Keil recalls more than 250.000 sold copies worldwide.[2] It became a live favorite.[3]

The song begins with a piano introduction.[3] Clapton uses a wah wah pedal on the song.[4] Author Marc Roberty describes the wah-wah solos as being "superlative."[3] Roberty criticizes Steve Ferrone's drumming on the song for being too heavy handed.[3] Allmusic critic Matthew Greenwald praises the song's "great guitar hook" and Clapton's "great vocal and guitar performances" on the song.[5] However, Greenwald believes that the song's arrangement is overdone, particularly the "brassy synthesizers," and feels that the song dated quickly due to its pop music elements.[5]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[6] 1.003[2]
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] 10.093[2]
United States (RIAA)[8] 107.329[2]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "Journeyman Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d Astrid Keil. "The Music Of Eric Clapton" (in German). Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d Roberty, M. (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Eric Clapton. Omnibus Press. pp. 121–122. ISBN 0711943052. 
  4. ^ Shapiro, H. (1992). Eric Clapton: lost in the blues. Da Capo Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-306-80480-9. 
  5. ^ a b Greenwald, M. "Pretending". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Eric Clapton – Pretending". Music Canada. 
  7. ^ "British single certifications – Eric Clapton – Pretending". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Pretending in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select ' in the field By Award. Click Search
  8. ^ "American single certifications – Eric Clapton – Pretending". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

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