Did you know?

“The Great Pretender” is a classic pop song originally recorded by The Platters in 1955. It was written by Buck Ram, the manager of The Platters, who also served as their producer and lyricist. The song was a significant hit for the group and remains one of their most iconic tracks.

Here are some key details about “The Great Pretender”:

  1. Release and Chart Performance: The Platters released “The Great Pretender” as a single in November 1955. The song quickly became a massive success, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for two weeks. It also topped the R&B charts for 11 weeks. The song’s widespread appeal made it one of the biggest hits of the 1950s.
  2. Musical Style: “The Great Pretender” is characterized by its doo-wop and rhythm and blues influences. The vocal harmony and orchestration are distinctive features of the song. The lead vocals, provided by Tony Williams, are smooth and emotional, adding to the song’s overall appeal.
  3. Lyrics and Theme: The song’s lyrics convey the feelings of someone who pretends to be happy and content while concealing their true emotions. The “Great Pretender” is someone who wears a mask to hide their inner turmoil, suggesting a theme of inner conflict and the desire to keep up appearances.
  4. Cultural Impact: The song has been covered by various artists over the years, including Freddie Mercury of Queen. It has also been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials, further solidifying its place in popular culture.
  5. The Platters: The Platters were a vocal group formed in 1952 in Los Angeles. They were one of the most successful vocal groups of the early rock and roll era. Along with “The Great Pretender,” they had several other hits, such as “Only You,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and “Twilight Time.”
  6. Legacy: “The Great Pretender” remains one of The Platters’ signature songs and is considered a classic in the history of popular music. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless quality of the song and the vocal prowess of The Platters.
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The song continues to be cherished and remembered for its emotional depth and memorable melody, making it a classic that has stood the test of time in the world of music.

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Lyrics

“The Great Pretender”

Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
Pretending that I’m doing well
My need is such I pretend too much
I’m lonely but no one can tell

Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
Adrift in a world of my own
I’ve played the game but to my real shame
You’ve left me to grieve all alone

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

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Yes, I’m the great pretender
Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not, you see
I’m wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you’re still around

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

Yes, I’m the great pretender
Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not, you see
I’m wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you’re still around

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