Air Supply

Russell Hitchcock, b. 15 June 1949, Melbourne, Australia; Graham Russell, b. 1 June 1950, England; Ralph Cooper, b. 6 April 1951, Coffs Harbour, Australia; Frank Esler-Smith, b. 5 June 1948, London; Rex Goh, b. 5 May 1951, Singapore; David Green, b. 30 October 1949, Melbourne; David Morse, b. 5 November 1957, Adelaide

A SOFT-ROCK BAND whose name was chosen as a counterblast to heavy metal, Air Supply worked within the style pioneered in the 70s by Bread. With ten hit singles, the group was the most successful Australian band of the 80s on an international scale.

The group originally consisted only of singers Hitchcock and Russell, who were in the Australian cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The former composed their earliest Australian hits, which included ‘Love and Other Bruises’ (Columbia, 1976). In 1979 they added the other members as instrumental backing, with Esler-Smith on keyboards and Morse and Goh on guitars, and switched labels to Arista.

A string of eight American Top Ten hits followed, including three million-sellers: the limpid ‘All Out of Love’ (1980 – their biggest hit in Britain), ‘The One That You Love’ (1981), an American No. 1, and the lush, operatic ‘Making Love Out of Nothing at All’ (1983). The last track was produced by Jim Steinman, who replaced earlier producers Robby Porter and Harry Maslin. ‘Just as I Am’ (1985) was an American hit, but Hearts in Motion (1986) sold poorly. In 1991 Air Supply moved to Giant for the lesser Vanishing Race (1993) and Greatest Hits – Live (1996). They continue to tour and are especially popular in South-East Asia, as evidenced by the number of karaoke-only releases of their material.

© Phil Hardy, Dave LaingThe Faber Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music, 2001

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