The song, “Without You”, was originally recorded by Badfinger in 1970
Eternal weepie, “Without You”, was written by Peter Ham (1947-1975) and Tom Evans (1947-1983) of British rock group, Badfinger for their second studio album, “No Dice”, in 1970. It was never released as a single by the band, instead favouring “No Matter What”, which made No.5 in the UK and No.8 in the US. The album charted at No.28 Stateside.
A year later, Harry Nilsson (1941-1994) picked up the song and made it his own. It was recorded for his seventh studio album, “Nilsson Schmilsson”, and released as a single in October, topping both the US and US singles charts as well as around the world and selling over five million copies to date. Nilsson’s recording received a Grammy nomination for Record of The Year but won the Best Pop Vocal Performance award.
Mariah Carey (b.1970) recorded a gut-wrenching version for her third studio album, “Music Box”, in 1993. The track was released in February 1994 as the third single, a month after Harry Nilsson’s death at the age of 53. The song became her first to top the UK singles chart, entering at number one and staying there for four weeks, selling 550,000 copies to be the fifth biggest seller of the year. Stateside, the song reached No.3 and charted number one in twelve other countries around the globe.
But which version is the best? BADFINGER’s original, NILSSON’s follow up or MARIAH’s cover?