'And The Hits Keep On Comin'
80's hitmaking duo Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock celebrate three decade milestone with release of It Was 30 Years Ago Today, their second live CD and very first live DVD recording.
If James Brown is the ‘Hardest Working Man in Show Business,' the hardest working band over the past three decades has to be Air Supply, whose principals Graham Russell (keyboards, guitars, vocals) and Russell Hitchcock (vocals) have literally toured together every year since meeting while performing in a Sydney, Australia production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1975.
With a titular wink to The Beatles, their mutual chief influence, the duo celebrates its incredible personal and professional hitmaking partnership on It Was 30 Years Ago Today, their very first Live Concert DVD Recording whose audio portion can also be played independently as a CD.
Filmed and recorded in August 2004 at the 7,000 Seat Casinorama arena outside of Toronto, the show features all of the hits that made them the kings of pop and Adult Contemporary radio in the early 1980s—“Lost In Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You),” “Even The Nights Are Better,” “Two Less Lonely People In The World,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.”
The concert also includes a handful of the prolific group's best post-heyday songs, including the brand new “Shadow of The Sun,” and one of their live show's longtime signature moments — Russell and Hitchcock going out into the audience and singing “The One That You Love.”
Chatting recently with Russell Hitchcock, I first wondered why now was the right time for Air Supply to release their second Live CD, It Was 30 Years Ago Today? "I guess because we met in May of 1975 and it is our 30th year working together."
Was it always to be called that title? "We typically wait until the end of a project unless something stands out during the recording process. We have always been huge Beatles fans and the title is a slight departure from the lyric in the song 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' which reads, 'It was twenty years ago today'."
Which of the live recordings taken from the new album do you feel encapsulates the band at their finest? "I would say 'All Out Of Love'."
And, while we're on the subject of revealing things, where did the band's name come from?! "Graham had a dream in which he saw a billboard with the name 'Air Supply' surrounded in lights!"
Being that you guys have been together for, well, 30 years, have there been many musical disagreements where the result has been 'quiet personal moments' between you both?! "Hard to believe, but we have never had a cross word about anything in the last 30 years!"
Are there ever unwarranted 'pressures' of sustaining a long term band?! "We have NEVER been ones to succumb to pressure and certainly as far as the music we produce is concerned, there is not a song that Graham has written that I have ever not loved to sing either solo or with him. I believe in my heart that he is one of the finest writers of pop songs in history and also one of the most underrated."
As my name is Russell, and you both also contain the word 'Russell' in your names, are there still to this day times where when the name is called out you both turn around?! "I think the only confusion has ever been with interviewers and practically every tour manager we have ever had!"
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I can't really answer that ... I've never liked cheesy songs!"
If there were just 3 words that described Air Supply's music, what would they be? "Melodic,Romantic, Sincere."
What would you say has been Air Supply's crowning musical achievement thus far? "There have been so many for us but I feel that achieving 30 years together must be on a par with any of them."
Finally, if you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other musicians to aid you in the project, who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the song be?! "Jed Moss on Piano, Jonni Lightfoot on Bass and Mike Zerbe on Drums ... the song would be anything that Graham composed for the occasion."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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