Can't Smile Without You

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"Can't Smile Without You"
Single by Carpenters
from the album A Kind of Hush
ReleasedSeptember 9, 1977 (single)
GenrePop, Ballad
Songwriter(s)Christian Arnold, Geoff Morrow, David Martin
Producer(s)Karen and Richard Carpenter
Carpenters singles chronology
"All You Get from Love Is a Love Song"
"Can't Smile Without You"
"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
"Can't Smile Without You"
Can't Smile Without You - Barry Manilow.jpg
Single by Barry Manilow
from the album Even Now
ReleasedJanuary 1978
GenrePop, soft rock
Songwriter(s)Christian Arnold, Geoff Morrow, David Martin
Producer(s)Barry Manilow, Ron Dante
Barry Manilow singles chronology
"Can't Smile Without You"
"Even Now"
Music video
"Can't Smile Without You" (audio only) on YouTube

"Can't Smile Without You" is a song written by Christian Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, and recorded by various artists including Barry Manilow and the Carpenters. The version recorded by Manilow in 1977 and released in 1978 is the most well-known, though it was not the first to be recorded or released.[1]

Barry Manilow version[edit]

"Can't Smile Without You" was recorded by Manilow in 1977 and released on his 1978 album, Even Now. Manilow also issued the song as a single in 1978 where it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[2]

Manilow's version has slightly different lyrics from the Carpenters' version such as the Carpenters's line "I can't laugh and I can't walk/I'm finding it hard even to talk" which was changed in Manilow's version to "I can't laugh and I can't sing/I'm finding it hard to do anything". The Carpenters remixed the song with additional orchestration for the B-side of the 1977 "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" single, revising the lyrics to read "I can't laugh and I can't sleep/I don't even talk to people I meet".

A version on Manilow's greatest hits box set, The Complete Collection and Then Some..., contains a slightly different version to the previously released version.

Chart performance[edit]

Carpenters version[edit]

The song was recorded in 1976 by the Carpenters and released on their May 1976 album, A Kind of Hush. It was also the B-side track for their 1977 single, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", released in support of their 1977 album, Passage.

Other versions[edit]

  • Gino Cunico recorded in Summer of 1975 and released the song in 1976 on his album, Gino Cunico.
  • Engelbert Humperdinck also recorded and released the song in 1976 on his album, After the Lovin'. The lyrics are identical to the Carpenters' version.
  • Menswear recorded a cover for the 1996 Childline charity album.
  • In 2010, GP Maxine Brooks released the song as a charity single for Nurse's Aid, supporting wounded soldiers and in memory of a WWI heroine.[13]

George Michael lawsuit[edit]

On behalf of the songwriters, publishing company Dick James Music sued George Michael for plagiarism in the mid-1980s claiming that the 1984 Wham! single, "Last Christmas", lifted its melody from "Can't Smile Without You". The case was settled out of court.[14]

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davis, Clive (December 17, 2009). "The Great American Seasonal Songbook; arts first night Cabaret". The Times. London. pp. 16–17.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 155.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5501a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 5532." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  5. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 1978-05-28. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  6. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)". Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  10. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Maxine is on Song for War Heroine". Birmingham Mail. October 23, 2012. p. 16.
  14. ^ Thomas, David (December 29, 2012). "Classic hits that only got to No. 2". The Daily Mail. London.
  15. ^ "Film Star & TVC Ernie Sabella & Infiniti". Youtube. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  16. ^ "LIVE! The Lane The Finale Farewell Ceremony". Youtube. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

External links[edit]