Song Review: Michael Bolton – “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”

“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” was released as the second single from Michael Bolton’s 1989 album, Soul Provider, on October 14, 1989. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Bolton co-wrote the song with Doug James, and the song was first recorded by Laura Branigan in 1983, and appeared on her album, Branigan 2. Branigan’s version only managed to peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in early October of 1983.

When Michael Bolton released his version in 1989, I was not familiar with Branigan’s 1983 recording. Considering I only would have been eight years old when Branigan’s version was released, I’m not surprised that I wasn’t familiar with it.

I have to admit that prior to “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” I hadn’t been too terribly interested in Michael Bolton. I have vague memories of hearing his cover of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” and not being terribly impressed with it. Because of not caring for that song, I didn’t give “Soul Provider” a true chance when it was released as the lead-off single for Soul Provider, and I basically ignored it. But the first time I heard “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” the emotional intensity of the song grabbed me instantly. After this song, I started paying attention to Michael Bolton. At the time, I thought nothing could top “How Am I Supposed to Live With You,” but another song Michael Bolton released a few months later would prove me wrong…

“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” is definitely one of the memorable songs to be released when I was in the ninth grade.

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