Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ROCK Sex: "Without You" - Badfinger > Harry Nilsson

ROCK Sex can live with this song forever.


BADFINGER were The Beatles for the 1970s, except that the decade didn't know it.

Glorious songs and horrible luck. But I consider that great band a treasure chest instead of a tragedy, and here's one more reason why.

"Without You" started out in half moves. First it took form as a song sketch by Pete Ham with the working title "If It's Love", with the verses and melody close but the chorus entirely different. Then Tom Evans put in the chorus from his song "I Can't Live".

TOM EVANS -"I Can't Live" demo (1970)

Badfinger recorded the melded version on their album NO DICE in 1970.

Paul McCartney, one of their Apple label bosses and an admirer, enthused that it was "...the killer song of all time."

BADFINGER -"Without You" (1970)

Another running mate of The Beatles, HARRY NILSSON must have felt so, too. First he did a heartfelt piano demo, and then recorded a stunning cover version. While everyone missed it on Badfinger's version, his "Without You" was a world smash and stayed at #1 in the US for a month.

HARRY NILSSON -"Without You" (1971)

It was such a success that he also did a Spanish version, "Sin Ti".

This is another case of how the cover version eclipsed the original, with most folks thinking it's Harry's song. Though lately they may think it's Mariah Carey's or any one of these.

But for me it's one more reason to be grateful for Pete, Tom, Mike, and Joey.

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

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