"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. 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.
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 BillboardAdult 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.
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.