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Without You (Badfinger song)

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Title: Without You (Badfinger song)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: A Thousand Different Ways, Pete Ham, Tom Evans (musician), Magazine (Heart album), Badfinger
Collection: 1970 Songs, 1972 Singles, 1983 Singles, 1994 Singles, Andy Williams Songs, Badfinger Songs, Billboard Adult Contemporary Number-One Singles, Billboard Hot 100 Number-One Singles, Billboard Hot Latin Songs Number-One Singles, Columbia Records Singles, Curb Records Singles, Dutch Top 40 Number-One Singles, European Hot 100 Singles Number-One Singles, Harry Nilsson Songs, Irish Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Mariah Carey Songs, Number-One Singles in Germany, Number-One Singles in Italy, Number-One Singles in Sweden, Number-One Singles in Switzerland, Pop Ballads, Rca Records Singles, Rhythm and Blues Ballads, Singles Certified Platinum by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie, Soft Rock Songs, Song Recordings Produced by Buddy Killen, Song Recordings Produced by Richard Perry, Song Recordings Produced by Walter Afanasieff, Songs Written by Pete Ham, Songs Written by Tom Evans (Musician), Soul Ballads, T. G. Sheppard Songs, Uk Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Warner Bros. Records Singles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Without You (Badfinger song)

"Without You"
Song by Badfinger from the album No Dice
Released 9 November 1970 (1970-11-09)
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:43
Label Apple Records
Composer Pete Ham, Tom Evans
Producer Geoff Emerick

"Without You" is a song written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of British rock group Badfinger, and first released on their 1970 album No Dice. The song has been recorded by over 180 artists,[1] and versions released as singles by Harry Nilsson (1971) and Mariah Carey (1994) became international best-sellers. Paul McCartney once described the ballad as "...the killer song of all time."[2]

In 1972, writers Ham and Evans received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.[3]


  • Badfinger origins 1
  • Harry Nilsson version 2
    • Harry Nilsson track listing 2.1
    • Chart performance 2.2
      • Certifications 2.2.1
    • Personnel 2.3
  • Mariah Carey version 3
    • Critical reception 3.1
    • Chart performance 3.2
    • Mariah Carey track listing 3.3
    • Charts 3.4
      • Weekly charts 3.4.1
      • Decade-end charts 3.4.2
      • Year-end charts 3.4.3
      • Certifications and sales 3.4.4
  • Other cover versions 4
  • In films and television 5
  • ASCAP and Ivor Novello recognition 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Badfinger origins

First recorded by the rock group [4]

Events in Evans' love life would lead to the completion of the track. While Evans was touring in Cologne he had met the woman who would become his future wife, Marianne. She moved to London. It was a sparky relationship. "One evening he went to her friend Karen and told Karen, 'She's left me. I need her back. I can't live without her.' He flew to Bonn to find her – he wrote a song called 'I Can't Live'. Its chorus; "I can't live, if living is without you, I can't live, I can't give any more." And so the merging of the two songs,[5] Ham and Evans created the hit. Ham's verse, 'warm, sweet, sentimental' and Evans' chorus, – 'intense, dramatic, heartbreaking.'"[6] Both Ham and Evans said they did not consider the song to have much potential at the time Badfinger recorded it, and the track was slotted to close Side A of their 1970 No Dice album. Badfinger's recording of the song, which is more brusque than its successors' versions, was not released as a single in Europe or North America. "Without You" was released backed by "We're For The Dark" in The Philippines on Apple Records, Catalogue number APPLE-025, "Without You" was also finally released as a 3" CD single in Japan in March 1993 along with the track "No Matter What".

Both the writer of the song, Ham and Evans later committed suicide due to legal and financial issues. The songwriting royalties for "Without You" in particular became the subject of legal wrangling and disputes for Evans. In 1983, following an acrimonious argument with his bandmate Joey Molland over the royalties for "Without You", Evans hanged himself.[7][8]

Harry Nilsson version

"Without You"
Single by Harry Nilsson
from the album Nilsson Schmilsson
B-side "Gotta Get Up"
Released 11 October 1971 (1971-10-11)
Format 7" single
Recorded 1971
Genre Baroque pop
Length 3:17
Label RCA
Producer(s) Richard Perry

Harry Nilsson, at the time was best known for his hit "Everybody's Talkin'" and for composing such hits as Three Dog Night's "One", heard Badfinger's recording of "Without You" at a party,[9] and mistook it for a Beatles song.[10] After realising it was not, he decided to cover the song for his album Nilsson Schmilsson in 1971. The song was released as a single in October 1971, and it stayed at number 1 on the U.S. pop chart for four weeks, from 13 February to 11 March 1972. The song also spent five weeks atop the U.S. adult contemporary chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song for 1972.[11]

In the UK, the song spent five weeks at number 1 on the British pop chart, beginning on 11 March, and sold almost 800,000 copies.[12] It went to Number One in several other countries, including Australia (for 5 weeks), Ireland (3 weeks) and New Zealand (2 weeks).

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."[13] 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.[13] Also featured are Klaus Voormann (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and Tom Plovanic (acoustic guitar). The string and horn arrangements are by Paul Buckmaster. In 1973, Nilsson won the "Best Male Pop Vocal" Grammy award for the song.[14] While Nilsson rarely gave live concerts, he did perform the song with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in September 1992.[15]

Harry Nilsson track listing

Worldwide Single

  1. "Without You" – 3:17
  2. "Gotta Get Up" – 2:24

EP (Portugal)

  1. "Without You" – 3:17
  2. "The Moonbeam Song" – 3:18
  3. "Gotta Get Up" – 2:24
  4. "Jump Into The Fire" – 3:32

Chart performance


Mariah Carey version

"Without You"
U.S. CD single
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album Music Box
B-side "
Released January 23, 1994 (1994-01-23)
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" single, 12" maxi single
Recorded 1993
Length 3:36
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Walter Afanasieff, Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Without You"/"
"Anytime You Need a Friend"

[19] "Without You" was later included on some non-U.S. pressings of her compilation album #1's (1998), and her 2001 compilation, Greatest Hits. "Without You" was also included on her 2008 compilation The Ballads.

Critical reception

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called it a "by-the-numbers remake of Nilsson's melodramatic 1972 hit."[20] Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone called this song "likeliest contender" for ballads like "I Will Always Love You" and he praised "Carey dips into her lower register and is accompanied by backup singers (including herself) magnified to sound like a mighty gospel chorus."[21]

Chart performance

"Without You" reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining in the top 40 for 21 weeks and on the chart for 23. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and number 3 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales. It was certified gold by the RIAA and sold 600,000 copies domestically.[22][23] It was ranked 16 on the Hot 100 1994 year-end charts.

"Without You" remains Carey's biggest hit across Europe. It became her first UK number 1 single, and was her only number one there until Against All Odds, which was also a cover. It debuted at number 1 on the chart and stayed at number 1 for four weeks.[24] It was also her first chart-topper in Italy, but was most successful in Switzerland (with ten non-consecutive weeks at number 1) and the Netherlands (twelve weeks). It also topped the singles chart in Germany for four weeks and Austria for eight weeks, where Carey's success had previously been limited. It also topped the Swedish Singles Chart for eight weeks, was number 1 in Ireland for five weeks and in New Zealand for one week. It was able to make the top three in Canada, France, Norway and Australia. It was certified platinum in Australia by ARIA and in Germany and Austria by IFPI. It was also certified gold in New Zealand by RIANZ and in France by SNEP. The song is one of only two Carey singles certified Gold in the UK with sales of 470,000 copies.[25]

Mariah Carey track listing

Worldwide CD single

  1. "Without You" – 3:38
  2. "

European maxi-CD single #1

  1. "Without You" – 3:38
  2. "Never Forget You" – 3:45
  3. "Dreamlover (live from Here Is Mariah Carey)" – 4:09

European maxi-CD single #2

  1. "Without You" – 3:38
  2. "Vision of Love" – 3:28
  3. "I'll Be There" (Featuring Trey Lorenz) – 4:28
  4. "Love Takes Time" – 3:48


Other cover versions

Shirley Bassey covered the song twice, once for the album And I Love You So in 1972, and again in Spanish as "Sin Ti" for the 1989 album La Mujer. This Spanish version of the ballad has also been recorded by Paloma San Basilio. A different Spanish translation, "Desde el dia que te fuiste" ("From the Day You Went Away"), was a #1 hit for Pandora on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks in 1992.[72] This version was covered by operatic pop band Il Divo for the album Siempre, in 2006.

A version by Ham on the Golders Green album, released posthumously in 1999, contains Ham's original "if it's love, that you're needing" bridge, and is only 2:16 in length.

The song is often covered by TV talent show contestants. Valentina Hasan, a season two contestant of Music Idol, sang her own version in Engrish. Soon dubbed "Ken Lee" after her mispronunciation of "Can't Live," the video of Hasan's performance became a YouTube hit, parodied and remixed by many fans[73] as featured in Sign of the Times on ABC's Nightline in March 2009.[74]

Mina performed the song with Johnny Dorelli in the Italian translation, "Per chi" (1978), a version that has also been released by Gens.

In films and television

Nilsson's version of "Without You" was used as the opening tune to the 1979 feature film Porridge. In the film Casino, the Nilsson version is playing during one of Ginger's manic episodes. In the film The Rules of Attraction, a college girl commits suicide in a bathtub while this song plays on the soundtrack. In Bridget Jones' Diary, the title character laments that a drunken rendition of this song may have alienated her from her handsome boss, Daniel Cleaver.

In June 2010 the Harry Nilsson version of the song was used in television advertising for the UK brand Soda Stream.

Nilsson's version was also included in the Apple Productions Movie, "The Son of Dracula".

It was also used in the final scenes of the Inside No. 9 episode A Quiet Night In.

In series two of Peep Show this song was featured in the episode titled 'Wedding'.

ASCAP and Ivor Novello recognition

On 15 May 1995, at ASCAP's twelfth annual Pop Music Awards in Beverly Hills, California, "Without You" was recognised as one of the 50 most-played songs of 1994 (due largely to Mariah Carey's recording). Discrepancies in ASCAP's books, resulting from a lawsuit against the Ham and Evans estates by their former manager, incorrectly attributed the song as being composed not only by Ham and Evans, but also by Badfinger's other bandmembers, Mike Gibbins and Joey Molland, and their former manager, Bill Collins. This designation and a lack of correction by ASCAP prompted the Ham Estate to boycott the ceremony. The song was also nominated for "Song Of The Year" in London at the Ivor Novello Awards.[75]

See also


  1. ^ According to the ASCAP
  2. ^ Paul McCartney VH1 Behind The Music, Retrieved 10 June 2009
  3. ^ Lister, David, Pop ballads bite back in lyrical fashion, The Independent, 28 May 1994
  4. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Song Stories, Without You". 9 February 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Badfinger – Without You".  
  6. ^ Song Stories, Radio 2, 9 February 2011
  7. ^ Nick Clark (26 April 2013). "Badfinger: last act in a rock'n'roll tragedy". Independent. 
  8. ^ David K. Frasier. Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Cases. McFarland. p. 20.  
  9. ^ Matovina 2000, p. 152.
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  12. ^ Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton, Rock Stars Encyclopedia (New York: DK Publishing, 1999), 714.
  13. ^ a b Without You" - Nilsson""". 19 February 1972. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Matovina 2000, p. 209.
  15. ^ Chip Madinger and Mark Easter, Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium (Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions, 2000), 543.
  16. ^  
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Nilsson – Without You".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ Matovina 2000, p. 395.
  19. ^ "Mariah's "Without you" popular on talent searches – The Mariah Carey Archives". Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  20. ^ Browne, David (27 August 1993). "Music Box Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Music Box | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. 28 October 1993. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "American single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  23. ^ a b "Best-Selling Records of 1994".  
  24. ^ "Without You on ChartStats". Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Myers, Justin (14 February 2014). "Official Charts Flashback 1994: Mariah Carey – Without You".  
  26. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  27. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  28. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  29. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF).  
  30. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2428." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  31. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2458." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  32. ^ "Billboard 25. jun 1994". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1994. p. 75. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "Hits of the World".  
  34. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  35. ^ "Mariah Carey - Without You" (in German).  
  36. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Without You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  37. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 13, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  38. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  39. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  40. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You". VG-lista. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  41. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You". Singles Top 60. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  42. ^ " – Mariah Carey – Without You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  43. ^ "Mariah Carey: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  44. ^ "Mariah Carey – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Mariah Carey. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  45. ^ "Mariah Carey – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Mariah Carey. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  46. ^ "Mariah Carey – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Mariah Carey. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  47. ^ "Mariah Carey – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Mariah Carey. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  48. ^ "Mariah Carey – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Mariah Carey. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  49. ^ "Zeitraum für die Auswertung: 07.01.1990 - 26.12.1999" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  50. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1994".  
  51. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1994" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1994" (in Dutch).  
  53. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  54. ^ "RPM Top 100 AC Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Classement Singles - année 1994" (in French).  
  56. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  57. ^ "Jaarlijsten 1994" (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1994" (in Dutch). GfK Dutch Charts. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1994".  
  60. ^ "Årslista Singlar - År 1994" (in Swedish).  
  61. ^ "Swiss Year-end Charts 1994". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  62. ^ "Chart Archive - 1990s Singles". Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  63. ^ a b c "The Year in Music: 1994" (PDF).  
  64. ^  
  65. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in German).   Enter Mariah Carey in the field Interpret. Enter Without You in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  66. ^ "French single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in French).  
  67. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Mariah Carey; 'Without You')" (in German).  
  68. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You" (in Dutch).  
  69. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You".  
  70. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Mariah Carey; 'Without You')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  71. ^ "British single certifications – Mariah Carey – Without You".   Enter Without You in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  72. ^ "Desde el Dia Que Te Fuista – Pandora". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 27 June 1992. Retrieved 31 October, 20111. 
  73. ^ [4] Archived 20 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  74. ^ "Gained In Translation | Video - ABC News". 13 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  75. ^ , page 395, Matovina, Dan. Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger, Google Books, 2000. Retrieved 17 June 2009



External links

Preceded by
"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Nilsson version)
19 February 1972 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Heart of Gold" by Neil Young
Preceded by
"Hurting Each Other" by The Carpenters
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Nilsson version)
19 February 1972 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Rock and Roll Lullaby" by BJ Thomas
Preceded by
"Son of my Father" by Chicory Tip
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Nilsson version)
11 March 1972 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Amazing Grace" by The Pipes & Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Preceded by
"Things Can Only Get Better" by D:Ream
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Mariah Carey version)
13 February 1994 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Doop" by Doop
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