with Austin Plaine
Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.
After the shows’ performances at 10:30, they would play pizza parlors, 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 — 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 U.S. and Canada playing all of the famous huge venues before Rod would take the stage. They found new fans, but did not break the U.S. 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 equaled The Beatles’ run of consecutive top five singles. The albums Lost in Love, The One That You Love, Now & 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 10 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 before would 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 7 million copies.