Friday Song: “The Pretender”

Written in haste (a theme for many hits), this award-winning song continues to thrill to this day

Another song written in haste, “The Pretender” was penned by Dave Grohl in a day in order to fill out the Foo Fighter’s 2007 album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

The song does what rock ‘n’ roll does best — challenges, excites, and inspires.

By the end of 2007, “The Pretender” had become the longest-reigning song atop the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart (it was dethroned in 2012-13 by Muse’s “Madness”). The song also won the 2008 Grammy for Best Rock Performance, and the album won the Grammy for Best Rock Album (it was nominated for five Grammys). It also won the Brit Award for Best International Album and was certified Platinum in 2017.

The video has received 574 million views on YouTube, and is an astounding blend of musical and visual effects. The song has strong dynamics and drumming, and an arrangement that packs a wallop.

Grohl, the band’s lead singer, main mover, and chief songwriter — he recorded their debut album entirely on his own — is not only one of rock’s most influential artists, having helped found Nirvana as well, but is known as one of music’s nicest and most thoughtful people. He’s a very creative guitarist in addition to being one of the most idolized drummers in rock.