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How Am I Supposed to Live Without You by Michael Bolton
Album: Soul ProviderReleased: 1989Charted:
Co-written by Bolton with Doug James, this is in the style of the soul songs of the '60s and '70s that often lamented the loss of a lover (like "Since I Lost My Baby
" by The Temptations). Bolton did very well covering various Soul ballads from this era.
When Laura Branigan took this song to #12 in 1983, it marked Michael Bolton's first big hit as a songwriter. He was in the midst of a career transformation, having fronted the rock band Blackjack in 1979-1980 while still using his real name: Michael Bolotin. With Blackjack, he wrote the song "Love Me Tonight," which made #62 in 1979, but didn't crack the Hot 100 again until Branigan did "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You."
Bolton would soon take matters into his own hands and become a soft rock superstar performing his own songs, but in the mid-'80s he was just trying to write some hits. He told Bruce Pollock around this time: "Right now I've got songs on about 12 or 13 albums. I have no idea whether they're gonna be sung well, whether they'll be produced well, whether any of them will even be singles. But I'm hoping for hits."
Bolton released a self-titled solo album in 1983, the same year this song was a hit for Branigan, but it wasn't until his 1989 album Soul Provider, where he released his own version of this song, that his singing career took off.
Bolton also co-wrote "I Found Someone," which topped out at #90 in 1986 for Branigan, but made #10 when Cher recorded it in 1988.
This was the second single from Soul Provider
(the title song was the first, peaking at #17). I was also Bolton's first #1 hit. He had another with "When a Man Loves a Woman
" in 1991.
This song was originally offered to Air Supply to record. The group wanted to do it, but Clive Davis (executive producer and then-owner of Arista Records) wanted the chorus modified and Bolton didn't want any part of the song changed. As a result, Air Supply put the song on "indefinite hold." While Bolton was waiting for Air Supply to record it, he received word that Laura Branigan taped it - not from sheet music (the usual method) but from his demo tape. Branigan's version hit #12 on the Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary music chart.
This won the 1989 Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.