Just don't call them "soft rock." Co-founder and soaring tenor singer Russell Hitchcock talked with me about Air Supply ahead of their Milwaukee show at the Pabst Theater, which is this coming Saturday night the 7th. And he has some interesting stuff to share!
Hitchcock and Graham Russell, the other founder of Air Supply, were working together on Jesus Christ Superstar in Australia when they met on May 12, 1975. Hitchcock was also working in computers and had no real experience with music, but with a voice like that and Graham's songwriting abilities, a year later they were touring with Rod Stewart, one of rock's biggest entertainers at the time. From there, songs like "Lost In Love," "The One That You Love," "Two Less Lonely People In the World," raced up the charts in multiple countries and they were rocking, so to speak, in the early 1980s. Meeting producer Jim Steinman at an ice cream parlor in New York City (an interesting story in itself) led to "Making Love Out of Nothing At All," a song that was originally 20 minutes long and was cut down to seven minutes just to get radio airplay - which helped it become a big hit, too.
Air Supply has had ups and downs since, as any band has, but they continue to put out new material - including a new single called "I Adore You" - and tour the world to packed houses. As Russell points out, some may call them "soft rock" (a term he abhors) or a few other even less flattering terms - but their show is more rocking than many may think, and Russell and Graham, just getting back from Brazil and stopping in Vegas briefly first, will be performing for Milwaukee Saturday night.
Take a deep breath and check out my conversation with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply in this EricCast podcast!
Let's check out an Air Supply classic: "Lost in Love," a hit in Australia in 1978 before it became a hit in the U.S. two years later, thanks in part to the legendary Clive Davis:
And, as we pointed out that so many of their songs have the word "love" in them, here's "All Out of Love":
And here's their recent single, "I Adore You," originally released in 2015: