With their heavily orchestrated, sweet ballads, the Australian soft rock group Air Supply became a staple of early-‘80s radio, scoring a string of seven straight Top Five singles. Air Supply, for most intents and purposes, was the duo of vocalists Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell; other members came through the group over the years, yet they only functioned as backing musicians and added little to the group’s sound. Hitchcock and Russell met while performing in a Sydney, Australia, production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1976. The two singers formed a partnership and with the addition of four supporting musicians -- keyboardist Frank Esler-Smith, guitarist David Moyse, bassist David Green, and drummer Ralph Cooper -- Air Supply was born.
Later that year, the duo, along with Chrissie Hammond, formed Air Supply as a five-man group. Hammond left the band, to be replaced by Jeremy Paul in time for the group’s first Australian hit single, “Love and Other Bruises”. This single was followed by a self-titled debut album that reached Gold status in Australia, numerous other top 40 hits, and an American tour opening for Rod Stewart. Jeremy Paul left the band during this tour.
Hitchcock and Russell effectively started out fresh again in 1978, and the band that was to record almost all of the hit records was formed. It featured Frank Esler-Smith (arranger and keyboardist), David Moyse and Rex Goh (guitars) and the rhythm section of David Green (bass) and Ralph Cooper (drums).
Their 1980 album, Lost in Love, released their music to an American audience for the first time, and contained three U.S. Top Five singles, including the title track, “Every Woman in the World” and “All Out of Love”. It was quickly followed by three more hit albums, The One That You Love, Now and Forever, and Greatest Hits.
During the mid-1980s the band (which would ultimately be reduced to a duo) continued to have minor hits in the U.S., including “Just as I Am”, “The Power of Love”, “Making Love (Out of Nothing at All)”, and “Lonely is the Night”. After recording The Christmas Album in 1987 Russell and Hitchcock separated and went their separate ways for several years.
In 1991 the duo regrouped and recorded The Earth Is, containing their hit single “Without You”. The album was followed by The Vanishing Race in 1993, News from Nowhere in 1995, and Now and Forever: Greatest Hits Live, a CD and DVD recording of a live concert in Taipei, Taiwan, also in 1995.
They continued to tour and record into the new millennium, with much success throughout southeast Asia where romantic ballads remain particularly popular. Their latest album, Across the Concrete Sky, is available through their website.
The year 2010 marks yet another Air Supply milestone as they celebrate their 35th anniversary of recording and performing on a global scale. To add to the celebration Air Supply recorded, Mumbo Jumbo, their long anticipated new recording. Mumbo Jumbo contains fourteen brand new recorded tracks including their newest radio hit, “Dance With Me”. Another key track, “Hold On”, features Australian heart throb rocker Michael Johns, a season seven finalist on American Idol. Mumbo Jumbo is the first new recording featuring all new material, from Air Supply since 2002.
“Fans of Air Supply (affectionately know as “Air Heads”) will not be disappointed”, says Air Supply’s Graham Russell. “We were committed to making Mumbo Jumbo a great record. We worked really hard on the right song selection, strong vocals and arrangements. We believe we have emerged with our best overall collection to date”.