In the red corner: “Without You” as performed by Harry Nilsson, 1971. A HUGE hook, a HUGE hit.
Originally composed by Pete Ham & Tom Evans (of the band Badfinger) Nilsson heard their version at a party, hummed it for days, and when he finally figured out who it was he called his manager. “I think I found one” he said, and he was right.
In the blue corner: “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye” as performed by The Raspberries, 1972.
Playing the role of the underdog it’s Cleveland’s power pop sluggers – The Raspberries. Led by Eric Carmen on piano, guitar and vocals, their debut album had that delicious ‘we can do anything’ vibe, somehow mixing progressive arrangements with piano ballads. It’s hard to pick a single song to go against Nilsson but “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye” packs a wallop,
“Waiting”, and “I Can Remember” also tug at the heart strings.
Decision? Nilsson in a split decision. The Raspberries scored points on songwriting, ambition, and flexibility, but Harry Nilsson’s voice is just unstoppable on that hook. The most jaded heart will yearn within 5 seconds of that song.