Neha Patil (Editor)

Can't Smile Without You

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Recorded  1976
Length  3:25
Genre  Pop
Label  A&M
Released  September 9, 1977 (single)
Writer(s)  Christian Arnold, Geoff Morrow, David Martin

"Can't Smile Without You" is a song written by Christian Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, and recorded by various artists including Barry Manilow and The Carpenters. The version recorded by Manilow in 1977 and released in 1978 is the most well-known version, though it was not the first to be recorded or released.


Barry Manilow

"Can't Smile Without You" was recorded by Manilow in 1977 and released on his 1978 album, Even Now. Manilow also issued the song as a single in 1978 where it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Manilow's version has slightly different lyrics from the Carpenters' version such as the Carpenters's line "I can't laugh and I can't walk/I'm finding it hard even to talk" which was changed in Manilow's version to "I can't laugh and I can't sing/I'm finding it hard to do anything". The Carpenters remixed the song with additional orchestration for the B-side of the 1977 "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" single, revising the lyrics to read "I can't laugh and I can't sleep/I don't even talk to people I meet".

A version on Manilow's greatest hits box set, The Complete Collection and Then Some..., contains a slightly different version to the previously released version.

The Carpenters

The song was recorded in 1976 by The Carpenters and released on their May 1976 album, A Kind of Hush. It was also the B-side track for their 1977 single, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", released in support of their 1977 album, Passage.

Other versions

  • Gino Cunico also recorded in Summer of 1975 and released the song in 1976 on his album, Gino Cunico'.
  • Engelbert Humperdinck also recorded and released the song in 1976 on his album, After the Lovin'. The lyrics are identical to the Carpenters' version.
  • Menswear recorded a cover for the 1996 Childline charity album.
  • In 2010, GP Maxine Brooks released the song as a charity single for Nurse's Aid, supporting wounded soldiers and in memory of a WWI heroine.
  • George Michael lawsuit

    On behalf of the songwriters, publishing company Dick James Music sued George Michael for plagiarism in the mid-1980s claiming that the 1984 Wham! single, "Last Christmas", lifted its melody from "Can't Smile Without You". The case was settled out of court.

  • Jerry Lewis often sings the song on his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon with altered lyrics that speak of the need for the viewers to call in their pledge.
  • The song has appeared in such films as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Unconditional Love, Starsky & Hutch, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  • In 1997, Japanese carmarker Infiniti used Barry Manilow's version as background music in a commercial for its Q45 model. In the commercial, actor Ernie Sabella is served with divorce papers goes and on a rampage through his home, cutting things in half with a chainsaw. He stops upon reaching the car and - as the music plays - has a change of heart, declaring that they could work it out.
  • In 2008, an attempt was made by Tottenham Hotspur F.C. supporters following their League Cup win to get the song to No. 1 as they see this song as being a part of the club with the words "Can't Smile Without You" being seen on many of its flags, banners, and websites.
  • References

    Can't Smile Without You Wikipedia