Can't Smile Without You

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"Can't Smile Without You"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album A Kind of Hush
Released September 9, 1977 (single)
Recorded 1976
Genre Pop
Length 3:25
Label A&M
Writer(s) Christian Arnold, Geoff Morrow, David Martin
Producer(s) Karen and Richard Carpenter
"Can't Smile Without You"
Single by Barry Manilow
from the album Even Now
Released 1978
Recorded 1977
Genre Pop
Length 3:28
Label Arista
Writer(s) Christian Arnold, Geoff Morrow, David Martin
Producer(s) Barry Manilow, Ron Dante

"Can't Smile Without You" is a song written by Christian Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, best known in its rendition by Barry Manilow.[1]

"Can't Smile Without You" was the first single to be released from Manilow's album Even Now. The song was released as a single in 1978 where it reached the number one spot on Billboard's AC chart, and the number three spot on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] Previously, the song was recorded by The Carpenters on their album A Kind of Hush in 1976, and was featured as the B-side of their hit "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" the following year. Manilow's version had slightly different lyrics from the Carpenters, such as the Carpenters's line "I can't laugh and I can't walk / I'm finding it hard even to talk," 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 latter is likely the original lyric, changed by the Carpenters because the lyric "I can't sing" when being sung makes no sense). The Carpenters remixed the song for the B-side of "Calling Occupants" in September 1977, again revising the lyric to read "I can't laugh and I can't sleep / I don't even talk to people I meet". Additional orchestration was also included in the remix.

A version on Manilow's greatest hits box set, The Complete Collection and Then Some... combines the first half of Take 1 with the double-tracked second half of his released version.

Engelbert Humperdinck released the song, using the same lyrics as the original Carpenters version, on his After the Lovin' album, 1976.

On behalf of the songwriters, publishing company Dick James Music sued George Michael for plagiarism in the mid-'80s, claiming that the 1984 Wham! single "Last Christmas" lifted its melody from "Can't Smile Without You." The case was settled out of court.[3] In 2010 George Michael was publicly cleared of all charges.[4]

Jerry Lewis often sings the song on his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, with altered lyrics that speak of the need for the viewers to call in their pledge.

The song has appeared in such films as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Unconditional Love, Starsky & Hutch, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In 2008, there was an attempt by Tottenham Hotspur F.C. supporters following their League Cup win to get the song to Number One, as they see this song as being a part of the club, with the words "Can't Smile Without You" being seen on many flags, banners, and websites as a slogan to the club.[citation needed]

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.[5]

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. ^ Thomas, David (December 29, 2012). "Classic hits that only got to NO2". The Daily Mail (London). 
  4. ^ "Remember 25 years ago". The Sentinel (Stoke). October 30, 2010. p. 28. 
  5. ^ "Maxine is on Song for War Heroine". Birmingham Mail. October 23, 2012. p. 16. 

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