I Can't Live with You

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"I Can't Live with You"
Single by Queen
from the album Innuendo
Released 1991
Format CD single
Recorded 1990
Genre Rock
Length 4:35
Label Hollywood Records
Writer(s) Queen
(Brian May)
Producer(s) Queen, David Richards
Queen singles chronology
"Headlong"
(1991)
"I Can't Live with You"
(1991)
"The Show Must Go On"
(1991)

"I Can't Live with You" is a song by the British rock group Queen. It was released a promo single from their 1991 album Innuendo. The single was released in the United States only, peaking at #28 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.

The song was written by Brian May but credited to all four members of Queen. "I Can't Live with You" was originally written for May's solo album. He gave it to the band since all three other members of Queen were fond of the track. Drums were programmed on synth by May, and the keyboard-pads were added by the producer David Richards.

For this promotional single, American producer Brian Malouf remixed the original album track. The remix was titled "I Can't Live with You (Malouf Mix)". Despite the promo sleeve only displaying one track, there are two on the single, the other being "I Can't Live with You (Malouf Mix Edit)".[1][2]

The Malouf Mix uses slightly different lead vocal tracks by Freddie Mercury, louder and tighter harmony tracks, and reprogrammed synth drums, resulting in a much more punchy and "over the top" poppy version than included on the album.

An alternative version of this song appeared on the 1997 compilation album Queen Rocks, billed as the "'97 Rocks Retake". it was said to be more along the lines of how May and Taylor originally wanted the track to sound, with a harder, guitar-driven rock edge. The original versions vocal was used in this retake.

Writing[edit]

In August 1991, May was interviewed by Guitar World where he spoke of the song. "As time goes by I find I'm more concerned with the lyrics than ever. A lot of people say you can only create when you're in pain. But when I was really in pain, I couldn't create anything. I couldn't even get out of bed. When you're climbing out and beginning to get things in the right boxes again, that's when you can put it into music. There's quite a bit of that sort of thing on this album. There's some in 'I Can't Live with You'; it's very personal, but I tried not to make it autobiographical because that narrows things too much. I tried to express it in a form that everyone can relate to."[3]

Recording[edit]

In the August 1991 Guitar World interview, May spoke about the mixing of song. "For some reason, 'I Can't Live with You' was almost impossible to mix. It was one of those things where you put all the faders up and it sounds pretty good, and you think, 'We'll work on this for a couple of hours.' Then it gets worse and worse and worse. We kept going back to the rough mix. It's got an atmosphere to it. I think it sounds so special because we kept a lot of the demo stuff on it. Usually it all gets replaced."[3]

Reception[edit]

AllMusic wrote "I Can't Live with You shows the band's pop sensibilities in full force."[4]

The Orange County Register wrote "Unfortunately, too much of "Innuendo" is given over to would-be arena roof-raisers such as "Headlong," "I Can't Live with You" and "Hitman," all ordinary rockers."[5]

The Record (NJ) wrote "If you can wade through the pompous muck of such heavy-handed tunes as "Don't Try So Hard," "I Can't Live With You," and "The Show Must Go On," you'll find several songs that are worth the effort."[6]

Track listing[edit]

CD Promo Single
  1. "I Can't Live With You (Malouf Mix)"
  2. "I Can't Live With You (Malouf Mix Edit)"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[7] 28

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]