How Am I Supposed to Live Without You

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"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 many artists around the world, in several languages, 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.

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" 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 let go of the song.[1] Subsequently Laura Branigan recorded it as written, and it became the first major hit for the two songwriters. Bolton's own rendition became a worldwide hit in early 1990.

Laura Branigan version[edit]

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
LauraBranigan HowAmISupposed.jpg
Single by Laura Branigan
from the album Branigan 2
ReleasedJuly 1, 1983
Format7"
Recorded1982
GenrePop
Length4:29
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Jack White
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"Solitaire"
(1983)
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
(1983)
"Self Control"
(1984)

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 (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.

Track listings[edit]

7" single[2]
No.TitleLength
1."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"4:29
2."Mama"3:56
7" single – Promo[3]
No.TitleLength
1."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (Short version)3:57
2."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"4:29
7" single (Canada)[4]
No.TitleLength
1."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"4:29
2."Don't Show Your Love"3:30

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 46[citation needed]
Canadian Adult Contemporary 1[citation needed]
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[6] 1

Michael Bolton version[edit]

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
How Am I Supposed to Live without You by Michael Bolton US cassette single.jpg
Artwork for U.S. commercial cassette single; the U.S. CD release was distributed for solely promotional use
Single by Michael Bolton
from the album Soul Provider
B-side"Forever Eyes"
ReleasedOctober 14, 1989 (U.S.)[7]
Format
GenreSoft rock[8]
Length4:48 (album version)
4:15 (radio edit)
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Michael Omartian
Michael Bolton singles chronology
"Soul Provider"
(1989)
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
(1989)
"How Can We Be Lovers?"
(1990)

In 1988, Michael Bolton recorded a version of the song for the album Soul Provider. The single reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts and also won him a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The release marked a turning point in Bolton's career. After years of being primarily known as a songwriter,[9] the single got him recognition as a performer and made him a certified superstar.[10]

The single took off in October 1989,[11] slowly climbed the Hot 100 and by mid January became the first new number one single of the 1990s, following "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins.

Music video[edit]

The beginning of the music video shows Bolton performing the selection whilst he is sitting in his living room, and small bits of story about his and his girlfriend's relationship are told through fade-outs. As he is about to leave the apartment, already having packed his suitcases, he thinks of her and the time they spent together and seemingly decides against the decision; he then cuddles with his girlfriend. It is revealed, the next night, that he plans to give her a bracelet, which he quickly hides as he reads a newspaper before she enters the room. She surprises him with breakfast and they cuddle again. Later on, the two have a fight about something and she storms out of the apartment, and Bolton visibly feels guilty.[12]

Track listings[edit]

7" single
No.TitleLength
1."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (Edit)4:14
2."Forever Eyes"4:23
CD single
No.TitleLength
1."How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"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

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts
Chart (1989/1990) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[13] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[14] 17
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16] 3
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[22] 1
Year-end charts
Chart (1990) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[23] 76
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 12

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hyatt, Wesley. The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits, Billboard Books, 1999, p. 277, 354.
  2. ^ "Laura Branigan - How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Laura Branigan - How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Vinyl, Promo) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Laura Branigan - How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Vinyl, Canada) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  5. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1983-10-08
  6. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/adult-contemporary/1983-09-03
  7. ^ Billboard Magazine. Vol. 101; No. 41; October 14, 1989; p. 83
  8. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  9. ^ Hyatt, Wesley. The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits, Billboard Books, 1999, p. 277, 354.
  10. ^ "Michael Bolton biography". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 the week of October 28, 1989". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Michael Bolton". MyVideo.
  13. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Musicline.de – Michael Bolton Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1990". RPM. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  24. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-09-15.