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Michael Bolton - How Am I Supposed To Live Without You (1989)

  • Video Views 167,318,683
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.06
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” is a song written in 1982 by Doug James and Michael Bolton. The ballad ...

“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” is a song written in 1982 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 Australian 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.

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, the single got him recognition as a performer and made him a certified superstar.

The single took off in October 1989, 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

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.

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