How Am I Supposed to Live Without You

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" is a song written in 1983 by Doug James and Michael Bolton. The ballad has been recorded by dozens of artists around the world, in English and Spanish, becoming something of a modern pop standard. Instrumental versions of the song have been recorded featuring variously the piano, guitar, saxophone, pan flute, steel drum, and music box. Bolton's own rendition of the song became a worldwide hit in early 1990.

How Am I Supposed to Live Without You was first performed by actress Lisa Hartman as a music video on the nighttime soap opera Knots Landing.[1] The song then was supposed to be recorded by the duo Air Supply. But when Arista president Clive Davis asked for permission to change the lyrics of the chorus, Bolton refused, and Davis released the song.[2] Subsequently Laura Branigan recorded it as written, and it became the first major hit for the two songwriters. The recording career of Michael Bolton would not take off until 1987.

Laura Branigan version[edit]

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
Single by Laura Branigan
from the album Branigan 2
B-side "Mama"
Released July 1, 1983
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1982
Genre Pop
Length 4:29
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Michael Bolton, Doug James
Producer(s) Jack White
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
"Self Control"

As the second single from Branigan's second album Branigan 2, How Am I Supposed to Live Without You spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at number twelve on the Hot 100 in early October 1983. Branigan's single also hit the number one spot on the Adult Contemporary chart in Canada. This success came without benefit of a music video. Branigan performed the song on the syndicated music countdown show Solid Gold in late 1983 and on the popular holiday special Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Branigan 2 went out of print in 2004, but Branigan's original version can still be heard on the compilation albums The Best of Branigan (1995), The Essentials: Laura Branigan (2002) and The Platinum Collection (2006).

The single's B-side was a newly written song over the music to the Italian song "Mama", by Giancarlo Bigazzi and Umberto Tozzi. Branigan's first major hit had been with "Gloria", another English song written to an Italian hit by the duo.

Branigan would go on to have hits with "Self Control", co-written by Bigazzi, and "Ti Amo", an English song written by Diane Warren over an Italian song by Bigazzi and Tozzi. She later recorded two more rock ballads co-written by Michael Bolton: "I Found Someone" from her Hold Me album was a minor hit in 1986; "It's Been Hard Enough Getting Over You" was cut in 1993 for Over My Heart.

Track listings[edit]

7" single

  1. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" – 4:29
  2. "Mama" – 3:56

7" Promo single

  1. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (Short version) – 3:57
  2. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" – 4:29


Chart (1983) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 46
Canadian Adult Contemporary 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary 1
Preceded by
"All Time High" by Rita Coolidge
Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary number-one single
September 3–24, 1983 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Tell Her About It" by Billy Joel

Michael Bolton version[edit]

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
Single by Michael Bolton
from the album Soul Provider
B-side "Forever Eyes"
Released October 1989
Format 7" vinyl, CD
Recorded 1989
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:13
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Michael Omartian
Michael Bolton singles chronology
"Soul Provider"
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
"How Can We Be Lovers?"
Soul Provider track listing
"It's Only My Heart"
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
"How Can We Be Lovers"

In 1989, Michael Bolton recorded his own version of the song and it became his biggest hit, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in 1990. On the Hot 100, the song became the first #1 single of the 1990s. This marked the second time the song had topped the U.S. AC chart. The song appears on his album Soul Provider and on Michael Bolton: Greatest Hits (1985-1995). It was also featured in the American Dad! episode Live and Let Fry.

Music video[edit]

The beginning of the music video shows Bolton performing sitting in his living room, and small bits of story about he and his girlfriend's relationship are told through fade outs. As he is about to leave the apartment after having packed his suitcases, he thinks of her and the time they spent together, and seemingly decides against the decision, and cuddles with his girlfriend. Its revealed the next night that he plans to give her a ring, which he quickly hides as he reads a newspaper before she gets home. She surprises him with dinner and they cuddle again. Later on, the two have a fight about something, and Bolton visibly feels guilty.[3]

Track listings[edit]

7" single

  1. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" – 4:14
  2. "Forever Eyes" – 4:23

CD single

  1. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (LP version) – 4:48
  2. "Forever Eyes" – 4:23
  3. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" (7" version) – 4:56
  4. "That's What Love Is All About" (Live) – 4:23


Chart (1989/1990) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 17
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Top 40 3
German Singles Chart 15
New Zealand Singles Chart 10
Swedish Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 3
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary 1

| style="width:50%; text-align:left; vertical-align:top;" |

Year-end chart (1990) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 12
Preceded by
"Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins
Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary number-one single
January 6–13, 1990 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Downtown Train" by Rod Stewart
Preceded by
"Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
January 20 – February 3, 1990
Succeeded by
"Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat
Preceded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
Belgian Singles Chart number-one single
April 28 – May 11, 1990
Succeeded by
"Infinity" by Guru Josh

Other cover versions[edit]

Other singers to record ballad versions of the song include Charlie Roots, Wayne Denton, and Korean star Se7en. British singer Newton has recorded a dance version of the track. In 2004, J Costa did a dance version of "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" with Mr Mig and DJ Holland doing successful club remixes. Other dance versions include a 2008 version by In Bliss. A salsa version appears on Miguel Martin's 1995 Sony International album Salsa with the Oldies.

A Spanish language translation of the song, "Como he de vivir sin tu cariño", has been recorded by numerous artists. Latin Pop singer Danny Rivera recorded the translation for his 1990 album Canto a La Humanidad. This version peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.[5] Other Spanish artists to record the song include Paloma San Basilio, who featured the song on her Sony International album Escorpio in 2001[6] and Rosa López, who featured the song on her Gold 2008 Universal Music album Promesas. Italian singer Filippa Giordano recorded the Spanish version for her album Prima Donna in 2005.

The ballad was one of several hits covered in the Finnish language, as Kerro Kuinka Rakkaudesta Toipuu, by Virve Rosti on her Edel Records album Vicky Rock Vol. 1.

Filipina superstar Sharon Cuneta featured the song on her Platinum album When I Love in 1999.[7] Asian singer Julie Su recorded the song on a 1989 album covers released by Warner Music Taiwan. Other female artists to perform the song include American singer Vicki Carr, and German singers Stephanie de Kowa, who recorded the song with the Filmorchester Babelsberg for her album Two Faces, and Joana Zimmer, on her 2008 Universal Music album Showtime. The song appears on actress/singer Ingrid Saxon's 2004 CD of pop and Broadway standards, A Lot of Livin' to Do. That year, Dutch jazz-pop singer Laura Fygi included the song on her album Song Book: 20 Jazz Greatest Hits.[8]

Lisa Hartman performed the song in character as a rising pop singer on Knots Landing in 1985. Characters played by Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez duetted to the song as performed by a fictional band called the Zack Attack on Part 1 of a two-part episode of the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, the season 3 premiere episode "The Last Dance".

Regina Ivanova Indonesian Idol 2012 contestant sang this song on the second of her two performances at the Indonesian Idol (season 7) Top 3'' Spectacular Show 2012.

Italian crooner Matteo Brancaleoni featured the song on his album New Life in 2012.

In 2011, Michael Bolton released his album Gems: The Duets Collection. A duet version of How Am I Supposed to Live Without You appeared on the track list as #2 of the album's Asian version. CoCo Lee was the female vocal while Bolton also re-did his part. The arrangement remained unchanged.

In 2012, Danish singer Tim Christensen made a cover version of the song on his album Acoustic Covers.

David Hasselhoff covered it in 1987, on his album "Lovin' Feelings".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lisa Hartman music video". Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Hyatt, Wesley. The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits, Billboard Books, 1999, p. 277, 354.
  3. ^ Music video in
  4. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Como He de Vivir Sin Tu Cariño". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1990-09-08. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Sharon Cuneta Music News & Info". 1985-04-07. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]