1983 Laura Branigan – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
Laura Branigan grew up near New York City. She worked as a waitress until 1972 when she became a member of Meadow, a folk-rock band. The band broke up and she worked at various jobs, including background singer for Leonard Cohen’s 1976 European tour.
Laura signed with Atlantic Records in 1981 and released her first album the next year. After several singles failed to produce results, the song Gloria broke out at dance clubs and eventually reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1982. The single sold over two million copies. Her recording of Solitaire from her second album also reached the top ten in 1983.
Michael Bolton co-wrote a song with Doug James, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. Air Supply had seven top-five records on the Hot 100 in 1980 through 1982, and the president of Arista Records (Clive Davis) had lined up the group to record Michael’s song. Clive requested permission from Michael to change a few lyrics in the chorus, and when Michael refused the request, Arista dropped the song from their schedule.
Laura snapped up the song, which became her second single release in 1983. Her single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 and easily topped the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart for a few weeks. Michael would release his own version of the song and finally have his first #1 record in 1990.
Falco co-wrote and recorded Der Kommissar and had a big hit in Germany and most of Europe in 1981. Unfortunately for Falco, American radio wasn’t quite ready for his version of the song. Laura recorded Deep In The Dark on her second album. About twenty seconds into the record it becomes clear that her song is new lyrics with the old melody sung over the top of similar instrumental backing from Der Kommissar. Laura’s record company released the single as her follow-up to How Am I Supposed To Live Without You in 1983. About the same time, the British band After The Fire released a more direct cover of Der Kommissar with English lyrics and reached the top five on the Hot 100. Laura’s record vanished from the airwaves. It would be three more years before Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus would make him an overnight sensation.
In early 1984 Laura released her third album and the title song, Self Control, would become her most successful single. It reached #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the charts in a half-dozen other countries.
In 1986, Michael worked with Laura again and wrote another song for her. She recorded and released I Found Someone, but while the single reached #25 on the AC chart, it barely got up to #90 on the Hot 100. Cher covered the song in 1988 and her version reached the top ten in the US.
Laura had a few more singles that reached the Hot 100, but none got higher than #20. By 1991 the chart hits were a thing of the past.
In 1994, Laura recorded the duet I Believe with David Hasselhoff that got used over the closing credits for season five of Baywatch.
Laura died in her sleep in 2004 at the age of only 52 after suffering from headaches caused by an undiagnosed ventricular brain aneurysm.
The National Hockey League team, The St. Louis Blues, adopted Laura’s recording of Gloria as their victory song on their road to winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.
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