Air Supply life and biography

Air Supply picture, image, poster

Air Supply biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Melbourne, Australia
Nationality : Australian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-04-04
Credited as : Rock duo, Lost in Love multi-platinum-selling album, The One That You Love

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Air Supply is an Australian soft rock duo, consisting of Graham Russell as guitarist and singer-songwriter and Russell Hitchcock as lead vocalist. They had a succession of hits worldwide, including eight Top Ten hits in the United States, in the early 1980s. They formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975 and have included various accompanying musicians and singers.

When Graham Russell, a native of England, met up with Australian-born Russell Hitchcock during an Australian production of Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar in 1976, neither could have had an inkling of the success they would share together over the next 10 years. With the release of their first album, Air Supply, on Australian label Rainbow Records in 1976, Air Supply, named because both founding members have air zodiac signs, began a decade of controlling the pop album and single charts by releasing one hit after another. The collection of hits would earn them the awards only a few years later. But what really started them on their multi-million-selling bonanza was being named opening act for Rod Stewart's worldwide "Footloose and Fancy Free" tour in 1978.

It was the sweet, whimsical and honeyed combination of Hitchcock's voice and Russell's overtly-romantic lyrics that launched them to the top of the adult contemporary charts. According to Detroit Free Press music critic Gary Graff, "Air Supply, after all, is regarded as fare for softies. Russell's best known works are syrupy love songs that might even put a cavity in Barry Manilow's smile, filled with lush arrangements and harmonies." Not a bad comparison considering Manilow was an influence on the musicians, along with the Bee Gees, Bread, and the Beatles. It was those syrupy love songs that enabled Air Supply to release nearly an album a year for almost 20 years and take command of the pop music charts for much of the 1980s.

The first of the duo's big hits came from their 1980 multi-platinum-selling album Lost in Love, recorded with EMI Music Group. "Lost In Love," "Every Woman in the World," and "All out of Love" brought Air Supply international success and acclaim. "Lost In Love" became Billboard's Top Adult Contemporary Single of 1980. Their second album, The One That You Love, released a year later, enjoyed similar success. The saccharine-sweet plea "Here I Am" solidified the band's reputation for writing successful, albeit sappy, love songs. "People are ready to hear more songs about romance," Hitchcock explained to Bruce Britt in the Detroit Free Press. "People are waking up to the reality that love and romance are what it's all about. The recordings of Air Supply became a soundtrack for generations and elevators.

The band did not spend all their time in the recording studio, though. Air Supply also toured the world extensively, crooning to a predominantly female crowd. The main attraction, according to Britt, was "Hitchcock's voice, a ringing choirboy tenor, reminiscent of a male Barbara Streisand." Yet, argues Hitchcock in the same review, "We bring the album right to the stage. And every note I sing on record, I sing in concert." With Graham providing most of the lyrics and music, Air Supply enjoyed successful albums into the middle of the 1980s.

The 1982 Arista Records release Now and Forever, included the hit songs "Even the Nights Are Better," and "Two Less Lonely People in the World." In 1983, Air Supply released a greatest hits album filled with their signature heavily orchestrated ballads simply titled Air Supply Greatest Hits in 1983. The song "Making Love Out of Nothing All" was rereleased and made it to number two on the charts.

There was no doubt as to the sovereignty of Air Supply over the radio scene in the 1980s, especially in the United States. According to Billboard magazine, the first six singles Air Supply released entered the United States' music charts in the top five area. No other band had experienced such success since the heyday of the Jackson Five. As the decade progressed, a change came over the pop music scene. Rougher, synthesizer-enhanced bands began to make a move on the position Air Supply held as sugar- coated love songs began to dissolve. Air Supply took two years off to consolidate ideas and songs for a second self-titled album for Arista. "It was clear that their audience was shrinking--the album was their first not to go platinum," wrote Stephen Thomas Erlewine, reviewing the band for the All-Music Guide web-site.

Another album in 1986, Hearts In Motion, brought the duo minimal success in the U.S. A year later The Christmas Album was released. It was the last album Air Supply would produce for Arista Records. An amiable separation between Hitchock and Russell took place in 1987, and Hitchcock went on to record a solo, self-titled album in 1990. Graham Russell rekindled a side project of his own, a rock opera entitled Sherwood. Russell, originally from Sherwood, England, wrote all the songs for the opera and Air Supply recorded the score.

Air Supply reunited in 1990 and, with a new contract from Giant Records, released The Earth Is in 1991. While it was well received in Europe and Japan, poor U.S. sales were further proof of Air Supply's waning American popularity. The same fate would befall the rest of their releases-- Vanishing Race, 1993, News from Nowhere, 1995, Now and Forever Live, 1995, and The Book of Love, (1997). While Air Supply has not encountered the endearment from the U.S. they experienced in the mid-80s, Air Supply's popularity in other countries, especially Japan, has increased dramatically. In 1993, a 20-track Air Supply karaoke disk was released in Japan. During a tour of Asia, Air Supply recorded the 1995 album Now and Forever--Live, boasting a 16-piece string section. The tour made stops in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

They continued to tour heavily throughout Asia and in select venues in the U.S. as well as record into the new millennium, releasing the more adult contemporary-titled The Book of Love (1997), Yours Truly (2001), and Across the Concrete Sky (2003). In 2005, they once again released a live CD/DVD recording; also in 2005 they performed in Havana, Cuba, becoming one of the first foreign bands invited to perform in the country. They were booked to perform two concerts, and played the first show on 7 July, the day before Hurricane Dennis hit the country. In high winds, their first concert had an audience of 175,000. Due to the hurricane, they could not play the second show. Fans staying at the same hotel as Air Supply on 8 July had to be content with Russell performing acoustically for them, as there was no electricity.

In 2006, they released an acoustic album, The Singer and the Song, and are gearing up for the release of their first studio album in three years, Zed. In support of the acoustic album, they made their first trip to India in May 2006. 2 December 2006 saw the duo perform to a capacity crowd in Kingston, Jamaica. This was their second visit to Jamaica, having performed at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in January 2006. They also have been seen endorsing Timeā€“Life's Classic Soft-Rock Collection. In 2007, Russell released his first adult contemporary solo album called The Future.

On 4 May 2010, they released their latest album titled "Mumbo Jumbo" featuring 14 new tracks.The music video for All Out of Love is seen briefly in the 2010 Australian film Animal Kingdom.

Discography:
-Air Supply (1976)
-The Whole Thing's Started (1977)
-Love & Other Bruises (1977)
-Life Support (1979)
-Lost in Love (1980)
-The One That You Love (1981)
- Now and Forever (1982)
-Air Supply (1985)
- Hearts in Motion (1986)
-The Christmas Album (1987)
-The Earth Is... (1991)
-The Vanishing Race (1993)
-News from Nowhere (1995)
-The Book of Love (1997)
-Yours Truly (2001)
- Across the Concrete Sky (2003)
-The Singer and the Song (2005)
-Mumbo Jumbo (2010)

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