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(I Can’t Live) Without You

 

No, I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

No, I can’t forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there but then I let you go
And now it’s only fair that I should let you know
What you should know

I can’t live if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
I can’t live if living is without you
I can’t give, I can’t give any more

No, I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

I can’t live if living is without you.
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore
I can’t live if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore

If livin’ is without you …

 

WITHOUT YOU – FACTS ABOUT THE SONG

 

“Without You” is a song originally recorded by Badfinger for their album No Dice (1970), and written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans and produced by Geoff Emerick. Its verse was composed by Ham, originally titled “If It’s Love”, but had lacked a strong chorus. Evans had written a chorus without a strong verse, so the duo fused the two sections together. The protagonist of this ballad lets a lover know that they “can’t live if living is without you”. Badfinger’s recording of the song, which is more brusque than its successors’ versions, languished as an obscure album track until it was noticed a year later by Harry Nilsson.

Harry Nilsson version

Harry Nilsson heard Badfinger’s recording of “Without You” at a party, and thought it was a Beatles song. After realizing it was not, he decided to cover the song for his album Nilsson Schmilsson in 1971; it stayed at number-one on the U.S. pop chart for four weeks, from February 13 to March 11, 1972. The song also spent five weeks atop the U.S. adult contemporary chart. In the U.K., the song spent five weeks at number one on the British pop chart, beginning on March 11, and sold almost 800,000 copies. The single was produced by Richard Perry, who later explained, “It was a different record for its time. It was a big ballad with a heavy backbeat, and although many artists have cut songs like it since, no one was doing it then.” Gary Wright, then known as a member of the British group Spooky Tooth, and later a successful solo artist in his own right, played piano on the recording.

While Nilsson rarely performed live, he did perform the song with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in September of 1992, and also performed the song with the house band, Liverpool, at various Beatlefest fan conventions.

Mariah Carey version
 
Mariah Carey’s version was released as the third single off Music Box in the first quarter of 1994 and in the United States it was released on January 24, 1994, just over a week after Nilsson had died following a heart attack on January 15, 1994. In the U.S. it was promoted as a double A-side with “Never Forget You”.

In the song Carey dips into her lower register and is accompanied by backup singers (including herself) magnified to sound like a mighty gospel chorus. Carey said that she decided to cover the song when she heard it in a restaurant. Mariah’s version has been considered very popular on talent shows.

 
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