from the album Journeyman (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #55
This week's "robbed hit" comes from rock god Eric Clapton, who had spent a big chunk of the 1980's battling a drug and alcohol addiction, emerging sober but more serene, with two albums in the later half of the decade produced by Phil Collins. In the spring of 1985 his single "Forever Man" hit the American top-40, but after that pop radio wasn't as kind. While he topped the Mainstream Rock radio chart with "(It's In) The Way That You Use It" and reached #5 with "Tearing Us Apart" with Tina Turner, neither song made even a dent into the pop Hot 100.
With Eric's last studio set of the decade, Journeyman, he set a little bit of blues, like in the lead single "Pretending", still the record was dominated by adult pop. Written by Jerry Lynn Williams (who also penned "Forever Man"), the single was enjoyable if not breaking any new ground for him. But the video got him all wet...
While "Pretending" returned Clapton to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart in the U.S., the single stalled under the halfway mark on the pop list in December of 1989. Internationally, the record made the top-40 in Canada (#24) and the Netherlands (#29), while in Eric's native Britain it only slipped in at #96.
His next radio single "Bad Love", which had Phil Collins singing backup, went to #1 on the rock chart as well, and scored Clapton with a Grammy for Best Rock Male Vocal in 1991. It also was a top-40 hit in the UK at #25. Two more tracks from Journeyman made the rock top 10, "No Alibis"(#4) and "Before You Accuse Me" (#9), the latter being the most straightforward blues on the disc. A fifth offering, the George Harrison-written "Run So Far", slipped in at #40; but none of the Journeyman songs save "Pretending" made the pop list.
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...and here's Eric performing "Pretending" live in London in 1990...