“Could’ve Been You“ is a rock song first performed by American rock singer Bob Halligan and later popularized by American singer-actress Cher. The song was written by Halligan and Arnie Roman for Halligan’s 1991 album, Window In The Wall. Cher’s cover version was produced by Peter Asher and released exclusively for the European market in early 1992 as the fourth single from Cher’s twenty-first studio album, Love Hurts. Lyrically, “Could’ve Been You” is a message from the song’s protagonist to his or her ex.
In 1991, Bob Halligan released his album Window In The Wall under Atco Records. The only single released from the album was its lead track, “Could’ve Been You”, which Halligan had co-written with Arnie Roman. According to Halligan, Atco Records had been going through a “political upheaval” that year and his record “was one of several recordings that was allowed to slip gently into the night”. Halligan “dryly notes, ‘[“Could’ve Been You”] lasted three weeks at radio. It came out to the sound of one hand clapping'”.
Later the same year, Cher covered “Could’ve Been You” for her album Love Hurts. Her version was produced by Peter Asher, who had previously worked with Cher on her 1991 UK number one hit “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”. The B-side of the first UK 7″ single release was “One Small Step”, a duet with American singer-songwriter Richard Page, while the B-side of the second UK 7″ single was “Love and Understanding”. The second UK 7″ single and the Germany Maxi-single were both released with the same cover, an image of Cher in a baby doll dress, while the first UK 7″ was released with the same photo cut to show only Cher’s legs. The whole photo was later reused for the cover of the Love Hurts tourbook. The UK 12″ single was the last released; its cover has a transparent vinyl and shows Cher in a long, smooth black wig. In 1993, “Could’ve Been You” was rereleased as the B-side of Cher’s “Whenever You’re Near” UK 7″ single.