“The Great Pretender” is a classic pop song performed by The Platters, released in 1955. It’s a poignant and introspective track that delves into the theme of hiding one’s true emotions behind a facade of happiness and confidence. Let’s delve into the details of this iconic song.


  • Artists: “The Great Pretender” was recorded by The Platters, an American vocal group known for their smooth harmonies and romantic ballads.
  • Release Date: The song was released in 1955 as a single and later included on The Platters’ album “The Platters.”
  • Composer: “The Great Pretender” was written by Buck Ram, the manager and producer of The Platters.

Musical Style:

  • Genre: The song falls into the doo-wop and pop genres, characterized by its lush vocal harmonies, gentle instrumentation, and emotive delivery.
  • Arrangement: “The Great Pretender” features a simple yet effective arrangement, with the focus on The Platters’ smooth vocal harmonies and subtle orchestration.
  • Mood: The mood of the song is reflective and melancholic, with lyrics that explore themes of loneliness and self-deception.


  • Theme: The lyrics of “The Great Pretender” express the singer’s feelings of loneliness and insecurity, as they admit to pretending to be happy and confident despite feeling empty inside.
  • Imagery: The song paints vivid images of the singer’s inner turmoil, with references to hiding behind a mask and pretending to be someone they’re not.
  • Emotion: The Platters’ emotive delivery of the lyrics conveys a sense of vulnerability and sadness, capturing the pain of living a life of deception and self-denial.

Cultural Impact:

  • Commercial Success: “The Great Pretender” was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of The Platters’ most successful singles.
  • Cultural Influence: The song has become a classic pop standard, covered by numerous artists and featured in films, TV shows, and commercials, and remaining a beloved favorite among fans of 1950s music.
  • Legacy: “The Great Pretender” has endured as a timeless classic, its emotive lyrics and smooth harmonies continuing to resonate with audiences around the world.
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  • Timeless Appeal: Decades after its release, “The Great Pretender” continues to be celebrated as one of The Platters’ greatest achievements, its poignant lyrics and soulful vocals ensuring its enduring popularity.
  • Musical Influence: The song’s influence can be heard in its enduring popularity and its impact on subsequent generations of pop and doo-wop musicians.
  • Artistic Achievement: “The Great Pretender” represents a high point in The Platters’ career, showcasing their talent as vocalists and their ability to convey deep emotion through their music.


“The Great Pretender” stands as a timeless masterpiece that epitomizes the musical brilliance and emotional depth of The Platters. With its soulful vocals, poignant lyrics, and timeless melody, the song continues to resonate with listeners, inviting them to reflect on the complexities of human emotions and the struggle to maintain a facade of happiness in the face of inner turmoil. As a cultural icon, “The Great Pretender” remains a cherished favorite, reminding us of the enduring power of music to evoke emotion, inspire introspection, and connect us to the shared experiences of the human condition.

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