Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Pretender by Jackson Browne, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Pretender

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Editors’ Notes

The Pretender was another step in Jackson Browne’s transition from singer/songwriter to rocker. From the opening lines of “The Fuse”—his observation on the movement of time and the limits of life itself—on out, it’s clear that his wife’s suicide haunts this record. Browne worries for his son (“The Only Child") and wonders how he himself will soldier forth (“The Pretender”). In the end, his poetic lines beautify the truth, while the full band gives him a hopeful edge. The Pretender is a world of consequence—a heavy but deeply rewarding listen.

Customer Reviews

A great album

This album is awesome! It was written in the wake of his first wife's (Phyllis) suicide. It is about loosing at love and how life can be hard. After his first four albums he broke through to the mainstream with The Pretender making room for his hit album Running On Empty one year later. If You have a spare Ten bucks it's totally worth it!! Buy this album!!!

THIS is essential JB circa 76

Whether fleeting love (Linda Paloma) or searching to understand a suicide (Your bright baby blues) or addressing the beginning of the Me generation after the disillusionment of VietNam and Watergate (The Pretender) this album was absolutely his reaction to the times. This was not the popular time for the singer songwriter. Some of these guys, like J.D. Souther and Jackson Browne were happy to live off of the pennies they got when The Eagles (and others) recorded their songs. While harder to appreciate after the 70's were over, there is some beautiful stuff to appreciate here and it is worth it.

An album that has aged well

One of Jackson Brown's most solid albums, somewhat overshadowed by his live Running onEmpty album released the next year. In particular, the opening contemplative track, The Fuse is one of his more underrated songs. A very complex song featuring the amazing lap steel work of David Lindley. The following songs are all solid and the Album concludes with the anthem-like Pretender track, which is a commentary on modernity.


Born: October 9, 1948 in Heidelberg, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive California singer/songwriter of the early '70s. Only Joni Mitchell and James Taylor ranked alongside him in terms of influence, but neither artist tapped into the post-'60s Zeitgeist like Browne. While the majority of his classic '70s work was unflinchingly personal, it nevertheless provided a touchstone for a generation of maturing baby boomers coming to terms with adulthood. Not only did his introspective, literate lyrics strike a nerve,...
Full Bio