Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Without You

Another Badfinger song today, Without You (Pete Ham/Tom Evans). It was Pete Ham’s girlfriend who gave up a date night so he could go back to the studio and work that inspired the verses, but Pete didn’t have a good chorus. And then Tom Evans had a near breakup with his future wife, and wrote the chorus that brought the song together and gave it a title.

Paul McCartney called Without You as “the killer song of all time,” and I find it hard to disagree with Sir Paul’s assessment. It’s been covered literally hundreds of times, and the first massive hit with it, by Harry Nilsson, set the pattern for how it would be interpreted. I love Nilsson, and his vocal range is amazing, but frankly, I always found his version (and most of the versions since) to be a bit schmaltzy and over-produced. For me, the song is beautiful and powerful enough to work in a more restrained and simple arrangement, and nobody can ever top Badfinger’s original. #quarantinehootenanny #61 of ???

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