Air Supply – Soft-Rock Masters

Air Supply is a soft rock duo consisting of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock formed in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia. Early on they were considered a band with various musicians, but Russell & Hitchcock were always the key performers and eventually became a duo. Along with original member Chrissie Hammond, the two met in 1975 while performing in the Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and decided to start a harmony vocal group. Hammond soon left to start her group Cheetah, but Russell & Hitchcock continued on and quickly signed a recording contract and became popular in Australia and in a few short years across the world. Russell Hitchcock is lead vocalist while Graham Russell sings backing vocals, writes most of the duos songs and plays guitar & other instruments.

They had success in their homeland Australia, but in 1980 they became bigger in the US than in Australia with a three year run of hits including 8 Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 singles:

  • Lost In Love
  • All Out of Love
  • Every Woman in the World
  • The One That You Love
  • Here I Am
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Even the Nights Are Better
  • Making Love Out of Nothing at All

After 1983 their crossover popularity dropped but they still charted well in the Adult Contemporary genre. The group continues recording and released a 2011 album “Mumbo Jumbo”. Russell Hitchcock has recorded 3 solo albums and Graham Russell has one of his own.

Other Air Supply Hit Songs include:

  • Love and Other Bruises
  • Do What You Do
  • Do It Again
  • What a Life
  • Just Another Woman
  • Two Less Lonely People in the World
  • Just As I Am
  • Lonely Is the Night
  • Without You
  • Goodbye
  • Someone
  • The Way I Feel
  • Dance With Me
  • Young Love
  • Unchained Melody
  • Love Is All
  • The Earth Is
  • Faith in Love

The Formation of Air Supply

Their love songs are timeless and still speak to audiences, young and old. Air Supply has eight Top 10 singles, including seven consecutive hits, as well as numerous Top 40 singles.
The core of the British-Australian group was Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock. Russell and Hitchcock met in 1975 while performing on an Australian production of Jesus Christ, Superstar in Sydney, Australia.

Air Supply quickly saw some success in Australia when their first hit single, “Love and Other Bruises”, peaked on the Australian Top Ten in 1976.

Key Band Members

Air Supply consists of two key members:

  1. Graham Russell: Born on June 1, 1950, in Nottingham, England, Graham Russell is the guitarist, singer, and songwriter of Air Supply. He is the primary force behind the group’s hit songs, being responsible for composing most of their classic hits. His songwriting skills are central to the duo’s success, with a focus on romantic and melodic tunes that have resonated with audiences worldwide. In addition to his work with Air Supply, Russell has also ventured into solo projects and theatrical works, showcasing his versatility as a musician and composer.
  2. Russell Hitchcock: Born on June 15, 1949, in Melbourne, Australia, Russell Hitchcock is the lead vocalist of Air Supply. Known for his distinctive tenor voice, Hitchcock’s emotive singing style has been a defining feature of the group’s sound. He met Graham Russell in 1975 while they were both performing in the Australian production of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and they formed Air Supply shortly thereafter. Hitchcock’s ability to convey deep emotion through his vocal performances has contributed significantly to the duo’s widespread appeal.

Together, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock have created a unique and enduring musical partnership. Their combination of heartfelt lyrics, memorable melodies, and distinct vocal talents have earned them a special place in the realm of soft rock music, with a legacy of classic love songs and ballads.

Success in the United States

In 1980, their single, “Lost In Love”, was included in the group’s 1979 album, Life Support. “Lost In Love” hit it big on the Australian and New Zealand charts. This caught the ears of Arista Records on the other side of the globe. The song was then remixed for its American release the following year and made it all the way to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The accompanying album, also titled Lost In Love, became a huge global seller.

After “Lost In Love”, the group went on to score six other consecutive US Top Ten hits: “All Out Of Love” (1980), “Every Woman In The World” (1980), “The One That You Love” (1981), “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” (1981), “Sweet Dreams” (1981) and “Even The Nights Are Better” (1982). Their albums went multi platinum with Air Supply’s 1980 LP, The One That You Love, becoming the group’s most commercially successful album. It peaked at #10 on the US Billboard album charts and went double platinum.

“The One That You Love” was Air Supply’s only #1 Hit on the Hot 100 charts. The band’s singles did very well on adult contemporary rankings, generating three #1 hits and several Top 10 AC singles too.

 Air Supply’s last Top 10 single was “Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All) in 1983.

Still Going Strong

Russell and Hitchcock are still together and continue to play to sold out crowds in Asia and other parts of the world. In fact, Air Supply was one of the few foreign acts to have performed in communist Cuba. They have continued to be active in various ways including:

  1. Continuous Touring: Air Supply has been consistently touring internationally, performing their classic hits and new material. They have maintained a strong fan base, especially in Asia, North America, and Australia.
  2. Album Releases: The duo has released several albums since the 1980s. While these albums may not have achieved the same commercial success as their earlier work, they have been well-received by their loyal fan base.
  3. Musical Evolution: Their later music often incorporates contemporary elements, showing a willingness to evolve while still retaining their signature romantic ballad style.
  4. Live Performances: Air Supply’s live performances are known for their energy and the duo’s enduring vocal prowess, continuing to draw crowds.
  5. Philanthropic Work: The band has been involved in various charitable causes and benefit concerts, contributing to communities and supporting various causes.
  6. Recognition and Awards: Over the years, Air Supply has received various accolades and recognition for their contribution to music, including induction into the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame in 2013.
  7. Collaborations and Projects: They have also engaged in collaborations and side projects, bringing their music to new audiences and exploring different musical landscapes.

Despite the changing musical trends since their peak in the 1980s, Air Supply has maintained a dedicated following and continues to perform, record, and contribute to the music industry. Their ability to adapt while remaining true to their core sound is a testament to their enduring appeal.