Saturday, January 9, 2016

"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" by Laura Branigan

Song#:  1515
Date:  07/02/1983
Debut:  87
Peak:  12
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After grabbing her second Top 10 hit with "Solitaire" (#7), Branigan released this second single from her album Branigan 2. It was a major hit at AC reaching the top spot and staying there for three weeks. At Pop, the song just missed out on the Top 10 by a couple of spots. The two hits helped the album get to #29. It would also become her second gold certified album.

ReduxReview:  This is the first hit version of the song and it remains the best. It has a great arrangement with a terrific vocal turn from Branigan. Unlike Michael Bolton's remake (see below), Branigan's performance is emotional and under control. I remember buying Branigan 2 for "Solitaire" and when I first heard this song I knew it could be a hit. Sadly, it kind of gets overlooked now in favor of Bolton's heavy-handed version.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was the first hit for the fairly unknown Michael Bolton. Although he had just released a self-titled solo album and reached #82 on the Pop chart with "Fools Game," Bolton was certainly no household name at the time. Bolton co-wrote the song with Doug James and apparently it was first performed by Lisa Hartman for the TV show "Knots Landing." Then Arista head Clive Davis got his hands on the tune and it was pegged to be recorded by Air Supply. However, Davis wanted lyric changes and Bolton resisted. It put the song in a limbo state for Air Supply. In the meantime, Branigan picked up the tune and got it recorded with lyrics in-tact for her second album. Later in 1989, Bolton recorded the song himself and released it as a single. It would reach #1 at Pop for three weeks becoming his biggest solo hit.


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