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May 18, at the Centre of Excellence, promises to be one of the biggest romantic evenings of timeless classic hits as International Concert Events presents The Greatest Night of Romance, featuring Grammy Award-winning artistes/supergroups Air Supply, Peter Cetera and Christopher Cross. These bands are three favourites in T&T.
This week we feature Air Supply.
Air Supply is one of the Caribbean’s most loved bands. They have performed just about everywhere. They broke all concert attendance records in 1998 when over 40,000 pop rock fans flocked the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain. Although this is their fourth visit in 22 years, they have already performed four times in Jamaica in just over three years, between 2009-2012. The band also broke records in Cuba where they performed for over 175,000 fans. They have also performed at the St Lucia Jazz Festival, St Kitts 47 Jazz Festival and Antigua and Bermuda Music Festival.
Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for Jesus Christ Superstar in Sydney, Australia, and they became instant friends, with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.
After the shows’ performances, they would play at pizza parlours, coffee bars and night clubs with just one guitar and two voices. They quickly gained a reputation for great harmonies and for original songs that Graham was constantly writing. They made a demo on a cassette of two songs, Love and Other Bruises and If You Knew Me and took it to every record company in Sydney. Everyone turned it down but one company—CBS Records—who admired their unique style.
They made a single in one afternoon and it shot to number one on the national charts. Air Supply was born! That same year, they opened for Rod Stewart across Australia and then throughout the US and Canada, playing at all of the famous huge venues before Rod would take the stage. They found new fans, but did not break the US market.
Back in Australia, they had to start again and made a record called Life Support. On this record were some treasures of songs, including Lost in Love, which went Top 10 in Australia and somehow found its way to music industry executive Clive Davis in New York.
Clive immediately signed Air Supply to Arista Records and in 1980, Lost in Love became the fastest selling single in the world, leaping to the top of all of the charts. Now Air Supply was on their way. The second single was All Out of Love, and that went up the charts even quicker.
Seven top-five singles later, Air Supply at that time had equalled The Beatles’ run of consecutive top five singles. The albums Lost in Love, The One That You Love, Now and Forever, and The Greatest Hits sold in excess of 20 million copies. Lost in Love was named Song of the Year in 1980, and with the other singles, sold more than ten million copies.
The trademark sound of Russell Hitchcock’s soaring tenor voice and Graham Russell’s simple yet majestic songs created a unique sound that would forever be known as Air Supply.
However, it is the live shows that always hold audiences captive around the world. They were the first Western group to tour China, Taiwan, and countless other countries that did not allow pop music across their borders. In 1983, they recorded Making Love Out Of Nothing At All by Jim Steinman, which solidified the group as a permanent force in modern music. This song was released on The Greatest Hits album which soared past seven million copies.
Lost in Love, All Out of Love, The One That You Love, Sweet Dreams and Making Love Out Of Nothing At All have each achieved multi-million plays on the radio.
In 2013, the duo continues to play more than 150 shows a year worldwide, including stops in England, Ireland, Israel, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Canada, the US and beyond. The band recently released its live Jerusalem show for a new DVD featuring two new songs, Sanctuary and Everywhere.