Air Supply

Englishman Graham Russell and Australian Russell Hitchcock met as cast members in the stage production Jesus Christ Superstar in April of 1975. Their similar passion for music led Graham to share the songs he had written with Russell and a quest to follow their dreams had begun. Playing at local pubs for next to nothing, Graham and Russell found that the crowds were very receptive to their style of Soft Rock ballads. In 1976, the stage production ended and, as a duo calling themselves Air Supply they released a single that met with modest success in Australia. Devoting their full time energy to the music business, the pair recorded an album in 1977 called "Love and Other Bruises", and the single of the same name reached #2 on the Australian charts. The follow up, "Empty Pages" went to #18. An invitation soon came for Air Supply to tour Australia, Canada and the U.S. with Rod Stewart. Later in 1977, the album "The Whole Thing Started" was released and the song "Do What You Do" reached #16 on the Australian charts. Air Supply was an eye opener to the music industry. No promotions, no professional training, but yet a success. The exposure the two got while opening for Rod Stewart gave Air Supply international attention, and after the tour ended and Air Supply returned to Australia, Graham and Russell's urgent desire was to get back to the U.S.

In 1979 "Life Support" (recorded in 1978), their fourth released album, contained Air Supply's first big hit, "Lost In Love", a #1 one song on the Australian Charts. It would later be re-recorded for release in the United States and would be the beginning of a string of world wide hits composed by Graham Russell. By 1980, Air Supply had finally cracked the American market. An L.P. titled "Lost In Love" was released and contained three songs that would hit the top five on U.S. charts. "Lost In Love" hit #3, "Every Woman In The World" went to #5 and "All Out Of Love" made it to #2. These would be the first of eight Top 5 chart hits for Air Supply. America could not get enough of the 'Australian Boys', and album reached Multi-Platinum status. Critics called Air Supply, the most "Successful Pop Group" and "Best Pop Group" of 1981, and the duo received awards for most played song, and won many awards for outstanding achievements. Soon, the American Top 40 and radio stations throughout the U.S. joined in. The number of fans grew and Graham continued to compose, and the more he composed the more hits followed.

1981 saw even further success as "The One That You Love" album claimed #2 on the Billboard album chart. The singles "The One That You Love" (#1), "Here I Am" (#5) and "Sweet Dreams" (#5) were enjoyed by millions of Americans, making Air Supply's 6th album go multi-Platinum. The BIM Award was presented to Air Supply in honor of "The One That You Love". In 1982, "Now and Forever" was released, but stalled at #25 on the album chart. The first single from the album, "Even the Nights Are Better" made it to #5, but the follow ups, "Young Love" only managed #38 and "Two Less Lonely People In The World" also stalled at #38. Despite the lower chart numbers, "Now and Forever" claimed yet another multi-Platinum award. In 1983, "Air Supply's the Greatest Hits" reached #7 and the song "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" stayed at #2, for 2 weeks. The second album named, "Air Supply", claimed #26 on the album charts and the single "Just As I Am" reached #19. VH1, gave "Just As I Am" the # 1 video award for 1985.

Despite the success of Air Supply, the music field was at a turning point and soft love ballads were on their way out. The media quickly switched to what the people were growing into and the 1985 album "Power Of Love" could only manage #60. In 1986, "Hearts in Motion" stopped at #84 and the single "Lonely Is The Night" could only reach #76 while "One More Chance" quit at #80. In 1987, Graham and Russell exercised their talents by performing a seasonal release for the Christmas holidays called "The Christmas Album". Radio still gives air time to the most popular songs "Love Is All" and "Eyes Of A Child" during the Christmas season. Between 1987 and 1990, Russell ventured out on his own and recorded a solo, self tilted album, "Russell Hitchcock", and released his one and only single, "Swear To Your Heart". Neither met with much success.

Graham and Russell re-united in 1991, but by now, their style of music was ancient history and the single "Without You" barely made the #48 spot on the charts. Air Supply's success slide in the U.S. did not discourage the two performers. They then concentrated their efforts outside of the States, which sent them on a world wide tour. The popularity of Air Supply decreased in America, yet increased overseas. Even to this day, Air Supply is held in high regard by the international fans and media. 1993 saw the release of the album, "Vanishing Race". The song, "Goodbye" claimed #48 on the U.S. charts, however, internationally, Air Supply's efforts on this album won them great success. "Its Never Too Late" and "Goodbye" brought Gold and Platinum sales. "News From Nowhere" in 1995 saw the song "Someone" hitting #50 on Billboard and once again a busy tour season started for Air Supply away from the United States. As in the beginning for Graham and Russell, the success of Air Supply was on the rise again. International air play and media continued to support them, but in North America they struggled to reach the charts. The boys concentrated on an Asian tour that took them to Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. A 16 piece string section accompanied Air Supply for the making of a live album. "The Book Of Love", produced entirely by Graham Russell, was released November 21, 1997 and was the first to be recorded at his studio in Utah. "The Definitive Collection" was released August 26, 1999 with all the hits, plus the original version of "Lost in Love" and other songs that became favorites but not necessarily singles. The package featured new artwork and notes from Graham and Russell about every song. In 2003, still another original album called "Across The Concrete Sky" was released.

Even though their day in the sun had passed, Air Supply were still a favorite of FM radio and Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock continued to tour world wide, releasing "Yours Truly" (2001), "Across the Concrete Sky" (2003) and a live DVD in 2005. In 2006, the duo released an acoustic album called "The Singer and the Song" and two years later they were ranked the 83rd best musical act of all time in Billboard Hot 100's 50th anniversary edition. On May 4th, 2010, they issued an album titled "Mumbo Jumbo" that featured 14 new tracks. In 2012, Air Supply were touring across the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and Columbia and through 2013 they appeared in Isreal, the U.K. and America. On 24 October 2013, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) announced that Air Supply would be inducted into the Hall of Fame on December ist of that year. In 2014, Air Supply was approached by the Wideboys to remix their single "Desert Sea Sky". In June of that year, the new version of "Desert Sea Sky" hit #43 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. In October, 2015, the duo's next release, "I Want You", reached #31 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, extending their chart history to an incredible five decades. That same month they released the single "I Adore You", as they continued to tour across America and around the world.

For more, be sure to read Gary James' interview with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply.