HATED His Song SO MUCH--He Tried To SABOTAGE IT...But ANGUISHED Vocal Made it #1 | Professor Of Rock
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 Published On Feb 13, 2023

Today’s show is a whopper…we dig into the genius & the tragedy that surrounded a pop music classic that was #1 several times for different artists. Without You. Written and recorded by Badfinger and then discovered as a deep track by Harry Nilsson who loved it and wanted to record it. …But after trying it in many different iterations and fighting with his legendary producer about the right way to approach the song. Harry Nilsson began to hate the song and did everything he could to sabotage it. It went to #1 anyway…But then the song became something of a curse. The co-writers of the song from Badfinger were decimated by career & money struggles, and in the end, actually ended up taking their own lives. Then Harry Nilsson ruptured his vocal cords and never sang the same way ever again Harry then basically disappeared from the public eye and then passed away right before he was planning to wage a comeback. Then another artist took her version to #1 in the 90s... The details of this bittersweet rock n’ roll soap opera are coming up NEXT….on Professor of Rock."

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So…It’s one of the most powerful outcries of heartbreak ever recorded. Perhaps even more painful is the story of what ultimately happened to the co-authors of the composition that became a masterpiece of human anguish. The song’s destiny wasn’t realized until a temperamental, and relatively unknown artist, happened to hear the original version at a party, and became obsessed with recording his own version of the gripping ballad titled “Without You.” “Without You” developed from the combination of two unfinished songs- one work-in-progress by Peter Ham, tentatively billed as “If It’s Love,” and a chorus, without verses, by Tom Evans called “I Can’t Live.”

Peter Ham & Tom Evans were two principals in the quintet, BadFinger. Now…Badfinger was a very talented & cool band, but they were largely under-appreciated, and systematically victimized by under-handed mismanagement, and an imploding record label, Apple Records, the record company owned by The Beatles.

Badfinger first went by the moniker The Iveys and were the first non-Beatles act to land a recording deal on Apple Records.

They changed their name from The Iveys to Badfinger in ’69. The Fab Four loved Badfinger! Paul McCartney even took the guys under his wing, so to speak. Macca gave Badfinger their irresistible debut hit “Come and Get It,” and produced the single that rose to #4 in the UK, and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970:

Badfinger would follow with the Top 10 hit “No Matter What”

Their highest charting American single, “Day After Day” came next, climbing to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in ’71. And their last hit single “Baby Blue” peaked at #14 in the U.S. in ’72.

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