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Pretenders - Brass in Pocket (Wiltern Theatre 2003)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Brass in Pocket on Wikipedia
"Brass in Pocket"
Single by The Pretenders
from the album Pretenders
B-side"Swinging London" / "Nervous But Shy"
ReleasedNovember 1979
Format7" single
GenreRock, New Wave
LabelReal, Sire (US)
Writer(s)Chrissie Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott
ProducerChris Thomas
The Pretenders singles chronology

"Brass in Pocket" (also known as "Brass in Pocket (I'm Special)") is a single by The Pretenders. It was written by Chrissie Hynde and James Honeyman-Scott, and produced by Chris Thomas.


The band's third single was their first success, scoring number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in January 1980 (making it the first number-one single of the 1980s), number one in Australia during May 1980, and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song takes its title from an expression Hynde heard from a member of Strangeways a Yorkshire-based support band who was looking for his money ("brass", meaning money).

During an interview with The Observer in 2004, Hynde revealed that she was initially reluctant to have the song released: "When we recorded the song I wasn't very happy with it and told my producer that he could release it over my dead body, but they eventually persuaded me."

Music video

In the accompanying music video for the single, Hynde portrays a waitress working in a greasy spoon who encounters a sleepy customer. She suddenly sees three men (her band members) approaching in a car outside. Hynde attempts to look elegant on their entrance and is clearly seen flirting with one of the men (Pete Farndon) after they've been seated. Pete doesn't respond to her overtures. Just then, three seductively dressed women (the men's girlfriends) enter the greasy spoon, sit at the men's table and begin to kiss their partners. Farndon's girlfriend isn't impressed when he appears to respond to Chrissie's flirting. Suddenly, the couples decide to leave the cafe without eating. Hynde is saddened and watches them outside leaving in their car, not feeling remotely "special".

It was the seventh video played during MTV's launch on August 1, 1981.


The song has been covered by Nazareth, Suede (for NME's charity compilation Ruby Trax),[1][dead link] Kelis (for the soundtrack to the 2005 film Just Like Heaven), Ashlee Simpson (during concert performances), Ultra Naté, Ted Leo (during WFMU's 2007 fundraising drive), and Alaina Alexander (on American Idol 6 Top 20 night), amongst others.

Oliver Grainger performs this song as the character D.W. Read from the PBS Kids series Arthur, and on the soundtrack Arthur's Really Rockin' Music Mix.

Scarlett Johansson (as Charlotte) sings a karaoke version of "Brass in Pocket" in Lost in Translation.

On November 27, 2010, "Brass in Pocket" was performed on The X Factor by Mary Byrne.

On June 2011, Suede released a remastered edition of their debut album including a version of "Brass in Pocket".

Uses in popular culture

"Brass in Pocket" was used in the background of several commercials as part of an advertising campaign by National City Bank during the late 1990s-early 2000s. The Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde is a native of Akron, Ohio, while National City was based in nearby Cleveland.

In Australia around 2006, "Brass in Pocket" was used to inspire an advertisement for Kellogg Company's Special K. The song has a distinctive "call and response" bridge where Chrissie Hynde sings "I'm special (so special)/I gotta have some of your attention give it to me."

"Brass in Pocket" is used in a 2011 TV commercial for the Blackberry PlayBook.

See also

  • List of number-one singles from the 1980s (UK)
  • List of number-one hits (Sweden)


  1. ^ [1]


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