Saturday, January 20, 2007

This Day in Music History: Michael Bolton and How Am I Supposed to Live Without You

Michael Bolton and Doug James were both surprised when they got a call that Laura Branigan was interested in recording How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, the song they wrote together. You see the song had already been placed on hold by Arista artist Air Supply. However, Clive Davis wanted to make a change in the chorus that Michael Bolton didn't want made. Still they were excited that Air Supply wanted to record it as they were selling millons of records at that time. In the end Air Supply never recorded the song and Branigan did. She took it up the charts to number 12 in the top 40.
For Michael Bolton this was great. It was his first big hit for him as a songwriter. He had others record his songs before like Rex Smith, the Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers, Starship and Joe Cocker but they were mostly album cuts. Now he had co-written a hit song.
In 1983 Deidre O'Hara of CBS Songs introduced him to Doug James. They went into the studio and joked around while getting to know each other. Finally Doug sat down at the piano and Michael started singing. They started bouncing ideas off each other and the first song they wrote was this one.
It was while waiting on Air Supply to record it that they got a call saying "Congratulations! Laura Branigan's cutting your song this afternoon." Doug James said he was worried because they had not done a lead sheet yet. However, Branigan cut the song from the demo tape.
When Bolton wrote the song he was really a rocker and trying to stay away from ballads. He had been in a band that release a couple of albums that sounded more like Led Zeppelin or Bad Comapany. He went did a couple of solo rock albums but they didn't do too well on the charts. With that experience and the urging of others he went from rock and roll to pop ballads. He has been more successful in music ever since.
Doug James said that Michaels version of How Am I Suppose to Live Without You is closer to what they had in mind then Laura Branigans. It was the second single from his Soul Provider album and became the first #1 song of the 1990's on this day in music history, January 20,1990. It was #1 on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks.

No comments: