Pretend We're Dead

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"Pretend We're Dead"
Single by L7
from the album Bricks Are Heavy
B-side "Shitlist"
Released 1992 (1992)
Format 7", 12", CD, CS
Genre Grunge[1]
Length 3:55
Label Slash
Writer(s) Donita Sparks
Producer(s) L7, Butch Vig
L7 singles chronology
"Pretend We're Dead"
Bricks Are Heavy track listing
"Diet Pill"

"Pretend We're Dead" is a 1992 song by grunge band L7, from the album Bricks Are Heavy.[2] The song was written and sung by Donita Sparks. The song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and just missed out on cracking the UK Top 20 Hit Singles, stalling at #21.

The song has a 'dirty' sound synonymous with the grunge movement; distorted, industrial-punk influenced guitars. However the song has a crossover appeal, that made the song radio friendly, even on conservative stations such as the BBC's Radio One. This is underlined by the immediate and infectious chorus, despite a heavy rock, punk attitude and sound. L7 Performed the song on the UK family friendly music show "Top of the Pops" and the Channel 4 late night cult pop culture show "The Word" - often seen as the antithesis of "Top of the Pops". This was never more evident than when Donita Sparks dropped her trousers, during a performance, revealing no underwear.

The single was released on the following formats in the UK - 7", 12", CD Single and as a limited edition (vinyl), picture disc.

The song was featured in the video games, TV shows and films including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rock Band 2, Beavis and Butt-head, Hindsight and The Perks of Being a Wallflower in addition to the trailer for Shaun of the Dead.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Pretend We're Dead" (Sparks)
  2. "Shitlist" (Sparks)
  3. "Lopsided Head"
  4. "Mr. Integrity" (Sparks)


Chart (1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 50
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 21
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[5] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 21


  1. ^ Danaher, Michael (August 4, 2014). "The 50 Best Grunge Songs". Paste. 
  2. ^ Watts, Ted (September 7, 1995). "L7's Finch doesn't rock by the numbers". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ " – L7 – Pretend We're Dead". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ " – L7 – Pretend We're Dead" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "L7 – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for L7. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  6. ^ "L7: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 5, 2016.

External links[edit]