Sing: Without You
Artist: Maria Carey
Previous artist: Harry Nilsson
Original artists: Badfinger
I want to feature this song because, frankly, it gives me a chance to talk about Harry
Nilsson. But, in doing so I have “cheated” more than a tad given the original song was
written by Badfinger, the group discovered by the Beatles.
First let’s look at Maria Carey’s involvement. Her version was released a week after
Nilsson had died of a heart attack in 1994. The song reached No 3 on the Billboard Hot
100 chart and became Carey’s biggest hit in Europe. In the UK is charted at No 1 and
stayed there for four weeks. It was certified platinum in the UK with sales and streams
topping the 600,000 mark.
The Nilsson version appeared on his album Nilsson Schmilsson. The single topped the
UK charts for five weeks. By that time Nilsson had already captured the hearts of UK
audiences with his song Everybody’s Talkin’ which featured across the opening
sequence of the film Midnight Cowboy – for me one of the best openings to any film,
At a 1968 press conference The Beatles were asked who was their favourite American
act. They replied: Nilsson. John Lennon and Ringo Starr would later count Nilsson
among their friends.
Nilsson was rated 62 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of all Time.
A macabre anecdote about Harry… he owned a flat in London in which two rock stars
were discovered dead – Mama Cass Elliot, formerly of the Mamas and Papas (1974)
and Who drummer Keith Moon in 1978.