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第四章:一切就这样开始了 (1977) (The Whole Thing Started)

发表于 2012-3-10 11:26 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Chapter Four: The Whole Thing Started (1977)

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Sydney Haymarket - Jan 31, 1977

      The very next day, on Jan 1, 1977, Air Supply performed a free afternoon concert at the Sydney Haymarket as part of the month-long Festival of Sydney. The festival was a real back-to-the-roots and into-the-streets affair - a people’s festival. Throughout January at The Haymarket, Circular Quay and Hyde Park, many of Australia’s top bands performed - Split Enz, Little River Band, TMG, Hush, Ol’55, Windchase, Silver Studs, Rabbit, Matchbox, Dragon, Stylus, Angels, Anne Kirkpatrick Band, Cold Chisel, Ross Ryan Band, City Strut and Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons. The old Haymarket building was a derelict and desolate brick wall and tin roof place, which was transformed into a stage for concerts, areas for drama and crafts, and several stalls selling everything from brass to coffee. The area had been refurbished at a cost of more than $100,000. Despite the improvements, The Haymarket was still considered the most controversial arena of the month-long festival activities.

      On January 31, the final day of the festival, Sound Unlimited and Travelodge sponsored a series of concerts on the main stage at the Haymarket. The festival ended as it began, with a rock concert by groups including Air Supply, Dragon, Stylus, Railroad Gin, Taxi and Karma. The show was well attended, and Air Supply was described as one of the fastest up-and-coming bands in the country.

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Captain Cook Hotel - Feb 2,5, / Blazers - Feb 4 / Club 25 - Feb 3

      When Air Supply appeared on Countdown in December, 1976, they were introduced to Fred Bestall, an American businessman, and Lance Reynolds, a member of an Australian band called the Silver Studs. Bestall and Reynolds had formed an Aussie rock management team in 1975, after a successful relationship as manager and artist. Bestall Reynolds Management signed a management deal with Air Supply in January, and the trio parted company with their existing manager, Doug Henderson, whom Russell described as “kind of an amateur in the business, and more of a friend of the band than a business guy.” Air Supply then changed concert booking agencies, leaving Australia’s leading agency Premier Artists, and joined its competitor Sunshine Entertainment Agency, who also represented the Silver Studs.

      The new managers believed that Air Supply was definitely American market material. Bestall and the Silver Studs were heading to America in September where they hoped to check out the scene for Air Supply before any definite overseas plans were made. “There are only so many venues to play in [Australia],” said Bestall. “You can only tour maybe once a year. For a band to stay alive, it must tour three or four times a year. But that just waters the success down. Any management has to look at the international market and plan accordingly, rather than planning to first have huge success in Australia and then look at the international market. Otherwise, you’ll have a dead act in six months.”

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      On February 13, Air Supply, Dragon and headliner Sherbet performed at a free outdoor concert in Sydney’s Victoria Park. The afternoon event was sponsored by 2SM Radio and attracted a crowd of 40,000. Radio stage promotion provided a major level of exposure for Australian pop/rock talent. 2SM (Sydney), 3XY (Melbourne) and 4IP (Brisbane) presented large outdoor shows at least three times a year, and attendance had been as high as 80,000. The exposure value of these shows for emerging acts was quite inestimable.

      On February 20, Air Supply shared top billing with local singer-songwriter Doug Ashdown at the 2,000-seat Dallas Brooks Hall in East Melbourne, the largest venue they had headlined at to date. The concert, Air Supply’s first in Melbourne, was part of the Sunday Night At The Dallas series, a popular event with Melbourne audiences. Ashdown was touring on the strength of his single ‘Winter In America,’ which charted in Australia for 28 weeks. Also on the bill was Australian singer Marty Rose, who years later formed the first electronic duo with Air Supply keyboardist Adrian Scott. Air Supply was the final act of the evening and they had the crowd begging for more, most of whom had never seen them live. For one of the slower songs, ‘It’s Not Easy,’ Air Supply performed behind a young female ballet dancer. The concert got rave reviews in the local press:

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Dallas Brooks Hall - Feb. 20, 1977

      Air Supply proved that they are not only a charming bunch of guys, but on stage a very polished, and professional act that left the crowd of people of all ages chanting for more. Marty Rose warmed the show up, followed by Doug Ashdown, who ended with a superb rendition of ‘Winter In America,’ his current single. Amid gentle clouds of white smoke, Air Supply took the stage. Dressed in brilliant white, the three impressed all with their beautiful harmonies, but it was the soaring range of the dark haired Russell Hitchcock’s voice that really stood out. Playing guitarist Graham Russell’s original material from the album, Air Supply left no doubt that Australia will be hearing plenty from them this year. - Spunky! Magazine

      The touring band for Air Supply included Mark McEntee, Adrian Scott and drummer Nigel Macara. Macara was already an established musician in the Oz rock scene, having played in several Australian bands, including Tamam Shud, Stonehenge, Sailing and Ariel. He left Ariel in October 1976, after he and lead singer Michael Rudd had a personality clash, Macara being an introvert and Rudd the extreme opposite. Before joining Air Supply in January, Macara had performed with Jon English and Trevor White. Graham had admired Macara’s playing for about six years and asked him to join Air Supply when he knew he was available. Despite having been a member of Ariel, which seemed like an impossible transition to Air Supply, Macara jumped at the opportunity. It was a chance for him to be more flexible and have more room to move within musical boundaries.

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      Air Supply had, due to lack of other suitable venues, been playing mostly discos in Canberra and Adelaide, but insisted they were not a disco band. In Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne they performed at clubs where disco music played before the main act took the stage. “We don’t play disco music and we never will,” said Graham. “We’re not as big in Adelaide as in Melbourne or in Sydney, which is strange because Adelaide broke the single. Perhaps it’s because the recorded disco music has such a hold in Adelaide. I don’t know what will happen because I don’t think there is any replacement for live music. It’s on the turn in America, and it’s already starting to die out in Sydney. Personally the disco thing just drives me stupid. I can’t handle it. I was thinking the other night of wearing headphones while I was waiting for the disco music to finish, because I can’t bear it, but anyway that’s a personal thing.”

      Disco forced many Australian bands to adapt to the changing landscape. Some rock and roll bands, such as Sydney’s Rabbit, chose to break up. Rabbit lead singer, Dave Evans, believed that disco was a major factor in the bands demise. “It was the disco’s,” he said. “It was basically an economic problem because we just couldn’t make any money. Jobs were so few and far in between, and we were rushing all around the country. The disco thing has really taken off here; even balladeers like the Bee Gees have gone into the disco thing. Almost every venue in Sydney has brought in a disco, and there is less and less chance of live bands finding work. It hasn’t just affected us - even bands like Ariel and Hush were having similar sort of problems.”     

      Air Supply’s live show was understated compared to what was popular in Australian music at that time. There were no crazy stage antics. Each member performed within the guidelines of their role, and there were few individual solos. They were very civilized and polite; giving the impression that they’d rather die than goof off on stage. Russell still got extremely nervous before each show. His knees shook uncontrollably and his knuckles turned white from holding the microphone too tight. Russell’s bongo drums, painted as an American flag, provided a small measure of separation between himself and the audience, which helped ease his nerves. “We always wanted to keep the band on a level that was different to anything else in Australia,” said Russell. “We wanted to have a classy image, to look good. And we wanted the product to sound good. We feel we have a responsibility to play live, something that’s really good and as good as the album. We started at the top of the ladder with a hit and we’re working really hard to keep it as good as we can. At the moment it can only get better - we don’t aim to slide down one rung of that ladder.”

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2SM Victoria Park, Sydney - Feb 13, 1977

      Air Supply had only been performing together for a few months, but they were all very capable musicians. Russell’s unusually high and clear vocal range was not well-suited for Aussie rock, but he could sing loudly. His voice had already brought him several singing sessions in various studios with established Australian acts. Jeremy Paul, who played a Fender Precision bass with acoustic amplifier and JBL speakers, was an experienced baritone, having taken singing lessons for things other than rock. His interest in musical theatre led him into musical comedy. Then came Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the acceptance for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band stage show, which he turned down to join Superstar. Graham, who mostly played rhythm with a pick and little fingering, used a Fender Telecaster and a custom-made acoustic guitar by Chris Finch in Melbourne. Because he played with not only the body but also the strings upside down, he lost a bit of bottom end hitting the treble strings first. To counter this he used the bass pick-up a lot and had the tone controls low down. Nigel Macara was already considered one of Australia’s best drummers. He was well versed in a wide variety of music, including acid-rock, progressive rock, beat pop, blues and jazz. Adrian Scott was a talented arranger and keyboardist, using a variety of instruments including an 86 Fender Rhodes and an ARP synthesizer for strings and brass. Mark McEntee, a deeply eccentric individual, was a trained jazz guitarist who’s style suited Air Supply quite well. He created terrific melody lines. “Mark had his own style,” said Australian television producer Vince Lovegrove, “subtle and under-played, with that rhythmic chop which is quite rare in lead guitarists, who usually like to demonstrate their proficiency at playing different notes at speed. Mark’s playing reminded me of Keith Richards and Malcolm Young who are the two best rock rhythm guitarists in the world, and of the magical rhythms of Bob Diddley and Chuck Berry.”

      The Australian pub circuit was not quite sure what to make of Air Supply’s polished live performance. Annie Burton of RAM magazine described a typical reaction; “A friend of mine went to the Bondi Lifesaver one night in search of some hard rock to lighten her lethargy. After a time, she expressed the opinion that the resident disc jockey must be losing his grip on variety. ‘This record’s been playing for half an hour’ she said, gazing distractedly towards the back of the room. Somebody pointed her head in the direction of the stage, and sure enough, there was a real live band playing. It was Air Supply. Whatever conclusion you draw from this modest tale depends on your attitude towards this careful trio. You could be of the opinion that Air Supply’s live performance is so polished that it could be mistaken for the recorded product, as indeed it is. On the other hand, especially if bobbing is what tickles your rocks, you could conclude that their actual stand and deliver presence is about as charismatic as watching that record revolve. Whatever, the lady in question dozed off against the bar soon after... Ah, but there’s lots that don’t. Doze off, I mean.”   

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Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne - Feb 14, 1977

      In January, Air Supply learned that they would be the opening act for Rod Stewart on his first solo tour of Australia, excluding Perth. Support spot for Stewart was not a position that most Australian bands could just walk into. It was considered a coup of sorts when it was announced that Air Supply had won the gig. Stewart was having a terrific couple of years with several Top 40 hits, and was among the music industries most successful solo acts. His manager Billy Gaff, a short, mildly spoken Irishman with a fast-receding hairline, was good friends with Air Supply’s management team. This relationship was critical in getting Air Supply the highly sought after support spot for Stewart. “We’d been a band for only six months when we got the tour,” said Russell. “So not only was it a very exciting experience for us, it was another world. It was the biggest tour of the year that year. It was like rock and roll at its peak!”

      Music critics questioned why Rod Stewart would select a soft rock band like Air Supply to open, but Graham was not at all surprised; “I think Rod wanted that sort of package you know, something mellow. Opening act for any headliner is very important because they can detract from you or add, and I think we added to his show, being fairly low key. After we played in Adelaide, Stewart’s manager was walking around the dressing room singing our songs.”

      During his pre-tour publicity, Stewart stressed that his solo tour would be much different than his raw, rough and gutsy tour of Australia with the Faces in 1974. He insisted that everything pertinent to the stage be white, including the grand piano, the speaker boxes, the floor, the leads and the set dressing. “Rock doesn’t have to be denims and dull,” said manager Billy Gaff. “It can be theatrical and exciting. Rod is trying to show that rock can really be made to look a whole lot better.”

      The Rod Stewart tour of Australia started on February 7th in Perth, and finished in New Zealand on March 3rd. Air Supply did not perform in Perth and New Zealand.

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Sydney RAS Showground - Feb 25             Rained Out Ticket

Perth - February 7,8 (Perth Entertainment Centre: Combined Attendance - 16,000)
Adelaide - February 11,12 (Memorial Drive Park: Combined Attendance - 15,600)
Melbourne - February 14,15 (Myer Music Bowl: Combined Attendance - 32,000)
Sydney - February 18,19 (RAS Showground & Hordern Pavilion: Combined Attendance - 38,000. Feb. 18 cancelled due to rain. Rescheduled for Feb. 25)
Brisbane - February 21,22 (Festival Hall: Combined Attendance - 15,000)
Christchurch (NZ) - February 28 (Attendance - 15,300)
Auckland (NZ) - March 3 (Attendance - 33,000)

      Rod Stewart’s tour featured one of the most advanced sound systems ever used in Australia. The Jands No. 1 Touring System, valued at $250,000, weighed 28 tonnes and delivered a power output of 24,000 watts RMS. “Certainly a far cry from a column speaker on each side of the stage,” said sound technician Howard Page, “but it’s worth it when I hear members of the audience muttering as they file out, ‘They sound just like their record.’” To accommodate crowds of over 20,000, a sophisticated colour TV was brought in from London to project close-up views of the action onto a massive screen.

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Opening For Rod - Feb 1977 (PIC: Bob King)

      Because of Australia’s relatively small population, there were no large American-style indoor arenas in 1977, so promoters were forced to stage concerts in large outdoor venues. The shortcomings of this practice was poor acoustics, and the delay or cancellation of concerts due to rain. Rod Stewart was scheduled to play at the RAS (Royal Agricultural Society) Showground on February 18th, but an unexpected storm forced its cancellation. Just as Air Supply finished their opening set, dark clouds moved in. Then 100 km/h wind gusts blew up, the screens and roof of the stage disappeared, and rain fell onto the electrical equipment. Stewart was just minutes from walking onto the stage when concert organizers were forced to stop the show. After an hour delay, the light rain turned into a deluge, sending fans scampering for shelter in the stands behind the stage. While thunder rumbled overhead, they chanted: “We want Rod!” Much to the dismay of the fans, concert promoters announced that the show was postponed. This despite the ‘we play rain or shine’ on the $9 ticket. The disappointed, rain-soaked fans booed the news while leaving the Showground. Many fans who had discarded their ticket stubs before the cancellation angrily confronted Showground attendants afterwards, demanding to know how they would get into the postponed concert.

      Despite the difficulties created from the washed out concert at the Sydney Showground, concert promoters Duet Productions and Billy Gaff were more than pleased with the number of tickets sold in Australia and New Zealand. The re-scheduled February 25th show at the RAS Showground in Sydney set a new single event attendance record of 32,000. It is estimated that Stewart’s promoters grossed over $240,000 from this concert alone. The tour of Australia was considered such a financial success that, while in Brisbane, Stewart purchased a $93,000 Lamborghini and had it delivered to his home in California. The Australian portion of Stewart’s The Concert tour was the highest grossing Australian tour to date. Similarly, the combined crowd of 48,300 at the Christchurch and Auckland concerts represented 1% of the entire population of New Zealand.

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      CBS negotiated to have ‘Love And Other Bruises’ released in the U.K., but not before they entertained the idea of allowing Paper Lace, a British band from Nottingham, to do a cover version for the English market. This did not sit well with Air Supply. The song was undoubtedly good enough to make it on its own merits. CBS relented and released Air Supply’s version in the U.K., Canada and New Zealand in April, 1977, with the album to follow if the single sold well. But ‘Love And Other Bruises’ failed to impress British radio, and Air Supply’s first foray into the U.K. disappointed. The album was later released in Canada and New Zealand, but not the U.K. CBS had entered into negotiations to have the single and album released in the U.S., but interest waned after ‘Love And Other Bruises’ flopped in the U.K. and Canada.
      Air Supply released their second single, ‘Empty Pages,’ and it first charted on February 7 in Adelaide. A couple weeks later it got airplay in the state of Victoria, and was hit-picked in all the other states. ‘Empty Pages’ did not have the success that ‘Love And Other Bruises’ did, but it reached #43 on the Kent Music Report and charted for 15 weeks. It reached #12 on 4IP Top 40 in Brisbane. Television show Countdown had Air Supply perform ‘Empty Pages’, and later aired a short excerpt of this performance on Countdown’s 100th episode celebration on April 3, 1977.

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(L-R) Macara, Paul, Hitchcock, Russell, Scott, Goh.   Mark McEntee

      Mark McEntee left Air Supply following the February concert at the Dallas Brooks Hall. He was not happy with his role in the band, as simply a hired backing musician, and he was not keen on the direction of the bands music. McEntee was replaced by Melbourne guitarist Brenton White. White was married to Lyndsay Hammond, and had helped write the music for ‘Love and Other Bruises’ a few years earlier.

      “I used to work as a guitar player, playing on a lot of sessions,” said Mark McEntee. “I did this to make a living. When I was doing that I was introduced to Air Supply by producer Peter Dawkins. Peter was working with CBS Records at the time, and they got to know me when I was a really young guitar player after I moved to Sydney. Peter used to call me in for session work, so he called me when he was working with Air Supply. I worked on their first album, which had a big hit in Australia called ‘Love and Other Bruises.’ After that album they changed direction and became known for doing love songs. But that first album was a really interesting record for the time. It was really different. I left Air Supply after that first record because I wasn’t really part of the song writing team. It just wasn’t my thing. I worked with them because I was a session player, and I played on lots of peoples records.”

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'Empty Pages' Promotional Video

      On March 9, The 7 Network aired a 90-minute special of Rod Stewart’s concerts at the Myer Music Bowl. Hoping to boost their ratings, HSV-7 aired the special within three weeks of the actual concerts, a relatively short period for a special of this type. Local band Air Supply was featured at the half-way mark of the broadcast, performing their nationwide hit ‘Love And Other Bruises.’ The use of six cameras and a 26-track audio mixer guaranteed that the visual and sound performance was as good as television amplifiers would allow. The broadcast was a major publicity boost for Air Supply.

      Some of Air Supply’s live performances were featured on Nightmoves, a new 90-minute late-night music television show that catered to an ‘alternative’ rock audience. The Melbourne based Nightmoves was hosted by XY disc jockey, Lee Simon, and focused mostly on older footage from Dan Kirshner’s American Rock Concert series. The show was careful not to ignore Australian bands, and was “put together according to the feel of what is happening around town, both with album releases and touring bands.”

      On March 28, Air Supply started recording a follow-up album to their successful debut LP, with Peter Dawkins returning as producer. The recording took place at Albert Studio, where ‘Love And Other Bruises’ and ‘If You Knew Me’ were recorded six months earlier. The new album was to be in the same musical style to the debut album, but a few of the songs were expected to surprise some people. Rex Goh, a guitarist from Singapore, replaced Brenton White before the start of the Albert recording sessions. Goh moved to Adelaide in 1972, where he joined a Yes cover band. They developed quite a following, and had a residency at the Hotel Tivoli each Tuesday night. He moved to Sydney in 1976, and later auditioned as lead guitarist with Air Supply.

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Gold Album Presentation (Sydney) - April, 1977

      In April, Air Supply’s debut album was awarded gold for Australian sales in excess of 20,000. William Smith, the managing director of CBS Australia, presented the award at a special reception held in Sydney. This was quite an accomplishment, but Graham had much greater ambitions; “A hit in Australia means nothing. We’ve all been in the business long enough to know that there’s more to success than one hit single. The task is ahead of us to prove we’re not just one-hit wonders. There is a lot of hula-la about Australian bands at the moment because they are selling platinum and double platinum albums, but when you boil it down, they are still only selling about a hundred or a hundred and fifty thousand albums. And they consider themselves superstars. It’s like a company. With good management and careful planning there’s money to be made, but new bands have to be content with what they get. The overheads are so high we’re just breaking even.”  

      In Australia, 20,000 albums and 50,000 singles are required for gold, and 50,000 albums and 100,000 singles for platinum. This is a far cry from the U.S. where 500,000 albums is required for gold and 1 million for platinum. At the 1977 Australian TV Week King Of Pop Awards, Peter Dawkins won the Producer Of The Year award for his work on Air Supply’s debut LP.


      Air Supply got an opportunity to go international when Rod Stewart invited them on his tour of North America, which was slated to start in September. Stewart picked Air Supply as his personal choice after travelling with them in Australia, and insisted that they be billed as his ‘Special Guests.’ Air Supply’s managers, Bestall and Reynolds, were instrumental in facilitating the North American tour, having paid a reported $10,000 to secure the support slot. Increasingly, headliners in Australia and America insisted that opening acts pay, a trend that drew criticism from some. Sherbet angered many top Australian groups and artists when they put the support spot on their tour up for grabs. The record company for the eventual winners, Redhouse, paid $10,000. Roger Davies of Sherbet argued that on previous tours, Ted Mulry Gang and John Paul Young did better supporting Sherbet than Sherbet did themselves, because accommodation and transport costs are so high.   

      “Our management at the time were good friends with his manager Billy Gaff,” said Russell. “I don’t remember what happened, but we got to open for him in Australia in all the major cities. After the second show, Rod came to us and said, ‘Do you guys want to open for me in North America?’ We had a conversation with one of the record people with CBS and this guy said, ‘No, it’s too soon.’ So we told him that we have to for it. He responded by saying, ‘No, what you should do is stay in Australia and we will make you bigger than Sherbet.” Graham added, “But we were a few months old and already the biggest band in Australia. Where else could we go? Nowhere but down. We were like a racehorse ready to bolt. We knew something was happening but didn’t know what it was. But we did know that ‘Love And Other Bruises’ was just the beginning.” So, against the wishes of their Australian label, Air Supply began preparations for the trip to America.

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‘Do What You Do’ Music Video & 7" Single - 1977

      Air Supply’s second album, ‘The Whole Thing’s Started,’ hit Australian record stores on June 27, 1977. The lead single, ‘Do What You Do,’ was released on May 30 and reached #45 on the Kent Music Report, but failed to crack the all-important Top 40. It had better success on local charts, where it got into the Top 20. The single was promoted quite heavily, including a promotional music video played on television shows Countdown, Sounds Unlimited and Nightmoves. People rushed out to buy ‘Do What You Do’ after hearing that Air Supply had been chosen to support Rod Stewart overseas. But promotion and radio play did not translate into album sales, as is common with sophomore albums, and ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ sold below expectations. This despite an aggressive marketing campaign by CBS Australia.‘ The album was released in Japan in 1980 with an alternate album cover, then reissued on CD in 1991 and 2002.

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‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ Press Kit Photo

      ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ got mostly positive reviews from Australian music critics:

      Air Supply are already in foreign parts, touring Europe and the U.S. But before they departed they managed to leave us with their second album ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ (CBS SBP 234999). Graham, Jeremy and Russell got their breaks in the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, and dominant musical chorus on the first track (‘Teach Me To Run’) of the new album is straight out of the shows title number. But ‘Teach Me To Run’ also sets the trend for the album with strong vocal harmonies and powerful melodic backings. The single off the album, ‘Do What You Do,’ is a pleasant medium-paced number but I think they might also have done well with the rocky ‘The End Of The Line.’ Like many follow up albums this one is very well put together, with strong material and great production, but there is no hit single in the class of ‘Love And Other Bruises.’ Best number on the album is ‘Love Comes To Me,’ which is a classic example of how to build a song with crescendo, excellent vocal lead and harmony. - The Age

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'The Whole Thing's Started' - June 1977

      Leading up to the launch of ‘The Whole Thing’s Started,’ Air Supply spent several hectic weeks touring Queensland to help promote the album. The culmination of that tour was a double-billed show with Skyhooks at Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens on June 26. Two days prior, Air Supply had played two sold out shows at Toowoomba’s Town Hall, before rushing to Brisbane at 6 a.m. for a full day of television promotion and the following day’s gig with Skyhooks.

      The concert with the Skyhooks at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens was a sun-drenched circus, and was completely packed with fans. It was a free concert sponsored by Brisbane’s top AM radio station 41P. Ross Gardiner of RAM magazine was at the concert and wrote the following review:
      Having watched Air Supply perform in Toowoomba and Brisbane it is easy to see why this band is confident of making the big time in the States. The band’s image of three front men, impeccably robed in all-white, the vocals and harmonies draining every ounce of emotion from Graham Russell’s tear-jerking lover’s laments, is broad enough to strike a chord with everybody from love-sick fourteen year old females to ailing grannies with an ear for an easy melody. It ain’t rock and roll, but no one ever claimed it was.

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      Air Supply put on a well thought out and relatively tight, if unexciting, show. Their opening numbers, ‘Teach Me To Run’ and ‘What A Life’ are bouncy and up, loaded with the sugar-sweet melodic harmonies, and the crowd respond accordingly. The audiences I saw them perform before seem pleasantly surprised by the on-stage dexterity of the band. In comparison to their stone-faced Countdown appearance and the waves-crashing-on-the-cliffs melodrama of their film clips, Air Supply attain a level of integrity that is due, quite significantly, to the abilities of the band’s back line.

      Rex Goh, a native of Singapore, plays some very mellow lead guitar that soars but never growls. Nigel Macara does nothing to tarnish his reputation as one of Australia’s top drummers as he keeps the rhythm happening with ease. Adrian Scott, on assorted keyboards, plays his parts efficiently, though unspectacularly. ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ ‘Feel The Breeze’ and ‘Empty Pages’ all go down very well, but the biggest surprise is their new single, ‘Do What You Do.’ Whilst not as strong as ‘Love And Other Bruises’ the newie gets the best reaction in the hour-long set. Ironically it will not be included on the American album. - Ross Gardiner, RAM

      On Saturday July 2, just three days before Air Supply was to depart for the States, they performed a 75-minute farewell concert for 1,000 fans at the historic Elizabethan Theatre in Sydney. A Sydney-based concert reviewer wrote the following for Variety magazine:

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Promoting 'The Whole Thing's Started' in Australia

      It took the soft rockers four numbers to spark the lukewarm audience. At times their playing lacked the cohesion of a tight group, but there were cheers after ‘Love And Other Bruises’ (their first big hit) and enthusiasm waxed as they rolled out pieces like ‘Ready For You’ and ‘It’s Automatic’ which had hands clapping to the beat. Vocalist Russell Hitchcock has a strong versatile voice and with all material from guitarist/vocalist Graham Russell’s pen, the act has an individual flavour that compensates for some occasional loose playing. - Variety

      As part of the Rod Stewart tour deal, Billy Gaff arranged for Air Supply to sign a record contract with Columbia Records in America. Gaff believed that Air Supply would crack the U.S. market, so he agreed to let them open on the tour, provided his partners, Jimmy Horowitz and Tom Dowd, could produce and mix a new album with them. The deal was struck despite CBS Australia having started on Air Supply’s second album, ‘The Whole Thing’s Started,’ and ongoing negotiations to have Air Supply’s debut Australian LP released in the States. A new album with Columbia would allow Gaff and his entourage to cash in on Air Supply’s enormous U.S. potential, and would almost certainly eliminate the possibility of CBS Australia releasing the first two albums in America. The rhythm tracks and some of the vocals for the Columbia album were to be recorded in Los Angeles over a three week period starting July 4. “[Then] on July 26th we’re going to London for three weeks,” said Graham, “and we play with Boz Scaggs and Chicago at the CBS International Convention. We’re also finishing off the vocals and doing some strings there. Tom Dowd, Rod Stewart’s producer, is mixing the album. We’ve booked Freddy Tackett on rhythm, and the drummer (Jeff Porcaro) from [Boz Scaggs] ‘Silk Degrees’ album. We’re also using Les Dudek and Rod’s touring keyboard player, John Jarvis, on some tracks. Also, we’ve booked a 19-year-old bass player that Tom’s found. Tom says he’s really looking forward to doing the album.”

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      “The American musicians we use on the album will give the material a slightly different feel,” said Russell. “It’ll be more laid-back and funky. For example ‘Love And Other Bruises’ will be in the same key, but just a bit faster. Different drum patterns.” Upon completion of the album, Air Supply planned on returning to L.A. to promote the record and get some warm up work to get the band used to American audiences.

      The relationship between Air Supply and CBS Australia deteriorated quite rapidly. Shortly after ‘Love And Other Bruises’ charted, Air Supply became disillusioned with their record label. “Almost at once we started to get negative feedback from around the country that the band was very unhappy, first with the company, and then with me,” said Peter Dawkins in his book titled The Icecream Boy. “Finally the band played with Rod Stewart [in Australia], courtesy of my contacts within CBS, and Stewart’s management smelled money. Air Supply was offered a tour with Rod Stewart in the U.S. and Canada, which had great appeal to CBS in New York. They contacted me for endorsement, which I excitedly gave, as the prospect of an extensive tour with a major artist looked great from everyone’s perspective. And then my world fell apart. I had a call from Dick Asher, the President of CBS, who apologized to me but... It turned out that Stewart’s manager, Billy Gaff, had approached CBS to support the tour, but only if his partner, Jimmy Horowitz, could produce an album with Air Supply. It was without doubt the only decision that CBS could make. It seemed that the album I had produced was suddenly not suitable for American consumption. This, even though it was already released and successful in four countries, including Canada.”

Love and Other Bruises Canada Promo 1976_edited-1.jpg
1977 Promo Single - Canada

      Much careful planning went into preparing the American album before the trio left for the States. When Jimmy Horowitz came to Australia to lay the groundwork for the album, he wanted at least eight singles on it to choose from. He used a stop watch and went through the songs to ensure that each one had a hook within 25 seconds. If not, the song needed to be re-arranged so that a hook was there. He claimed that if there was no hook within 25 seconds when a DJ played it in America, he wouldn’t play it again. Horowitz used the stop watch to ensure the middle eight came in at so many seconds, the bridge in so many seconds and so on. He insisted that each song be no longer than three minutes and twenty seconds. The album was to be a compilation of material from the band’s two Australian releases. The songs ‘Do It Again’ and the title track from ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ were sure to be included. “There’s also about 12 or 14 maybe’s,” confirmed Graham. “What Jimmy is trying to do is get as many on as we can. Other definites are ‘Empty Pages,’ ‘Feel The Breeze,’ ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ ‘The Weight Is My Soul’ and ‘Ready For You.’ They’re all really strong tracks and I’m very confident.”      
 楼主| 发表于 2012-3-10 11:47 | 显示全部楼层
译文: <转载请注明空气补给中文网>
  紧接着的第二天,1977年1月1日,Air Supply在悉尼Haymarket开了一场作为长达一个月庆典之一的免费午间演唱会。这场庆典主题是“回到根源”和“进入街头” - 一场人民的盛典。到了1月31日,这次活动的最后一天,音乐无限电台和Travelodge在主舞台报道了这次活动。这次悉尼的音乐节最终如开始一样结束的很圆满,包括一些澳大利亚顶尖的摇滚乐队如Split Enz, Little River Band, TMG, Hush, Ol’55, Windchase, Silver Studs, Rabbit, Matchbox, Dragon, Stylus, Angels, Anne Kirkpatrick Band, Cold Chisel, Ross Ryan Band, City Strut and Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons。老Haymarket是一个荒凉的砖墙和铁皮屋顶的建筑作为,已经转变为一个专门的作为戏剧艺术和演唱会的演出场所,可以在这里的摊位上买到任何东西,从黄铜制品到咖啡。这个地方已经花费超过10万美元进行了翻新。尽管有着种种改进,Haymarket仍然是这次长达一个月的盛会中最有争议的地方。

      1月31日,音乐节的最后一天,Sound Unlimited and Travelodge在Haymarket的主舞台举行了一系列的演唱会。演出阵容有摇滚乐队,Air Supply, Dragon, Stylus, Railroad Gin, Taxi and Karma。上座率非常的好,Air Supply也被认为是澳大利亚一个迅速崛起的乐队。

  1976年Air Supply出现在Countdown节目中,他们被介绍给了美国企业家Fred Bestall和Lance Reynolds,一个叫银耳钉的布里斯班乐队中的一员。Bestall和Reynolds于1975年在澳大利亚建立了一个经纪人团队。Bestall Reynolds计划在1月份与Air Supply签订经纪人合同,这个三人组合和他们现有的经纪人Doug Henderson一起归并到这个公司内,Doug被Russell戏称为他是商业界的新手,比起商业伙伴更像是乐队的朋友。Air Supply接下来更换了他们的订票代理,离开了澳大利亚头号代理机构Premier Artists,转投它的竞争对手Sunshine Entertainment Agency,这家公司也代理The Silver Studs。

  Lance和他的商业伙伴,Fred Bestall有兴趣来经营Air Supply,他们是扩展到国际市场的强有力的支持者。Air Supply正在寻找新的经纪人,因为他们的第一个经纪人是行业里的新手。“我们一开始有一个经纪人,但是是那种刚刚涉足商业上的新人。”Russell说。“他更像是我们的朋友而不是生意上的伙伴” Lance和Fred对于带领乐队更上一层楼显然是个更好的选择。“在这个国家只有不多场馆可以进行演出。”Bestall说道,“也许你只能一年巡演一次。而使乐队生存下去,必须是一年三到四次。任何经纪人都必须寻求国际市场和做相应的计划,而不是计划在澳大利亚来寻求巨大成功然后再去展望国际市场。否则,你将会在六个月内终结。”

      新经纪人相信Air Supply绝对是适合美国市场的。Bestall和The Silver Studs于9月份前往美国为Air Supply探查大洋彼岸的情况,和制定计划。“在澳大利亚有太多的场馆可以演出。” Bestall说,“一年只能巡演一次。如果乐队要生存,则必须一年巡演3到4次。但这仅仅是小规模的成功。任何经纪人都必须直接放眼国际市场,而不是要求一步步成功。否则你将会在6个月内消失。”

      在2月13日,Air Supply, Dragon和headliner Sherbet在悉尼维多利亚公园共同举行了一场免费户外演唱会。这场下午的活动是由2SM广播电台举办,并且吸引了4万名观众。电台的推广为澳大利亚流行摇滚新星提供了一个极好的曝光机会。2SM (悉尼, 3XY (墨尔本) 和41P (布里斯班) 在最近每年举办了最近三次重要的户外演出并且参加者已经高达8万人。这些曝光的机会对于那些新人来说是具有不可估量的价值。

      在2月20日,Air Supply在东墨尔本拥有2000人座位的Dallas Brooks Hall和当地歌曲作者Doug Ashdown分享Top Billing。The concert, Air Supply在墨尔本的第一次露面,是The Dallas series周日晚的节目,这是一档与墨尔本听众一起娱乐的盛会。Ashdown带着自己的强档单曲进行巡演,这首歌在澳大利亚排行榜上待了28周。同样在演出中,还有澳大利亚歌手Marty Rose,她几年后和Air Supply的键盘手Adrian Scott一起组建了第一个电音二重唱组合。Air Supply在那晚是最后一个登场的艺人,他们的表演让从没有看过他们现场的听众大呼不过瘾。然后紧接着加唱了一首慢歌 ‘It’s Not Easy’ ,Air Supply在年轻的女芭蕾舞演员后演唱。 这场表演在当地媒体的评论中大放光彩。

      Air Supply证明了他们不仅仅是一群迷人的家伙,在舞台上也是相当棒的,他们惊艳的表演让台下观众想要更多。Marty Rose进行了暖场演出,紧接着就是Doug Ashdown带着他的超级金曲‘Winter In America’ 。伴随着柔和的烟雾,Air Supply上台了。穿着耀眼的白色服装,三个人唱着美妙的和声,而Russell Hitchcock的声音那真是太出众了。唱着吉他手Graham Russell’自己写的歌,毋庸置疑今年澳大利亚将会听到Air Supply更多的声音。- Spunky! Magazine

      Air Supply的巡演阵容包括了Mark McEntee, Adrian Scott和鼓手Nigel Macara。Macara那时已经是Oz rock scene的乐手,在很多澳大利亚乐队中演奏过,包括了Tamam Shud,Stonehenge,Sailing and Ariel。1976年10月他离开了Ariel,在那之后他和主唱Michael Rudd有过个人冲突,Macara和Rudd变得极其对立了。1月份他加入了Air Supply,Macara曾经与Jon English和Trevor White一起演出过。Graham一直欣赏Macara有六年了,当得知他正好没事儿干之后问Macara是否愿意加入Air Supply。尽管是Ariel一员,这对Air Supply来说也是相当困难的过度,Macara抓住了这次机会。这次机会对他来说在音乐界是相当有帮助的。

      由于缺少合适的演出场地,Air Supply不得不被迫在堪培拉和阿德莱德的迪斯科舞厅内演出。而在悉尼,布里斯班和墨尔本他们俱乐部演出。“我们不会玩迪斯科舞曲,永远不会。” Graham说,“我们在阿德莱德不如在墨尔本和悉尼知名,这的确有些奇怪,因为在阿德莱德单曲很走红。我不知道会发生什么,因为我不认为有什么东西能够取代现场演唱会。迪斯科音乐在美国正当红,而这在悉尼却已经开始走向死亡了。个人来说,个人认为迪斯科音乐让我变得愚蠢。我无法驾驭它。试想着一天晚上我带着耳机准备完成一首迪斯科音乐,这简直无法忍受,但是这完全是我个人的感受。”

      迪斯科音乐迫使澳大利亚乐队去改变。一些摇滚乐队,诸如Sydney’s Rabbit,只能选择解散。Rabbit的主唱Dave Evans坚信迪斯科潮流是乐队解散的主要原因。“这完全是迪斯科导致的。” 他说,“这其实是一个财政上的问题,因为我们无法去赚钱了。机会越来越少,市场越来越小。迪斯科完全占领了这里,甚至以情歌著称的乐队像the Bee Gees也进入了迪斯科领域。几乎悉尼的每个场馆都开始开设舞厅,以现场演出为生命的乐队的机会越来越少。这不仅仅只影响到我们 - 甚至像Ariel和Hush都遇到了类似的问题。”  

      Air Supply的现场表演相比那些当时澳大利亚最流行的风格绝对是被低估了。没有什么疯狂的夸张动作。每位成员都在做他们份内的表演,几乎没有什么单人表演。他们很文明礼貌;给人的印象是他们宁可死也不远在舞台上混日子。Russell在每场演出之前依旧很紧张。他的膝盖不听使唤,他的手指发白,紧握住麦克风。Russell的Congo鼓,被刷成美国国旗的风格,这提供给他与听众之间的一点点小距离,这能帮助他缓解他的紧张。“我们总是想让乐队在音乐性上和别的澳大利亚乐队有所不同,能超出别的一截。” Russell说, “我们希望拥有一个正面的形象。而且我们也想制作更棒的声音。我感觉我们必须要多现场演出,这真的是比专辑中会更棒的。我们真的尽可能的干的最好。而在这个节点上,你只能变得更棒 - 我们绝不会去和下面的比较。”

      乐队刚刚组建不久,才共同演出了几个月,但是他们的音乐才华已经展现出来了。Russell清脆的嗓音很是独特,尽管并不是很适合澳大利亚摇滚风格,他可以唱的很高。Jeremy Paul, 弹着芬达精密贝斯,伴随着放大器和JBL音箱。他是一名富有经验的男中音,接受过声乐训练而并非摇滚乐。他对音乐剧很感兴趣。Then came Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the acceptance for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band stage show, which he turned down to join Superstar. Graham,大多数时间都用pick和手指弹吉他,使用一把芬达Telecaster和在墨尔本,Chris Finch制作的木吉他。因为他不仅仅是为一一个把吉他倒过来拿并且弹奏的人,所以他失去了一些弹奏低音的结尾和高音的能力。为了克服这个难关,他很多时间使用了贝斯pick来弹奏。Nigel Macara被认为是澳大利亚最好的鼓手。他能打击不同种类的音乐,包括酸性摇滚,实验摇滚,打击流行乐,布鲁斯和爵士乐。Adrian Scott是个极具天赋的编曲家和键盘手,使用一系列的乐器包括一把86 Fender Rhodes和ARP synthesizer来配合弦乐和铜管乐。Mark McEntee,一个非常古怪的人,是一个很有天赋并且风格很适合Air Supply的吉他手。他的生活中充满着音乐,“Mark有他自己的风格,很平淡,那种节奏在主音吉他中很少见,通常在演奏不同节奏的曲子的时候能展现出他的能力。” 澳大利亚电视制作人Vince Lovegrove说。“ Mark的演奏让我想起了Keith Richards和Malcolm Young,这两位世界顶尖的摇滚节奏吉他手,还有传奇巨星Bob Diddley和Chuck Berry。”

      澳大利亚酒吧圈不确定是什么造就了Air Supply那优雅的舞台表演。RAM杂志的Annie Burton是这样描述的:“我的一个朋友去邦迪海滩救生俱乐部听摇滚为了振奋一下她毫无生气的生活。听完一次之后,她表示那里的唱片师完全没有掌控能力。 ‘这张专辑在那里放了半个小时。’ 她说,她心烦意乱得看着房间的后面。有人指向舞台的一个方向,那里有一个真的乐队在演出。那是Air Supply。无论如何,这个小故事向人们表明了这三人对待音乐的态度。你甚至会误认为Air Supply的现场表演为录音室的唱片播放。”

  在1月份,Air Supply得知他们将要为Rod Stewart的第四次澳大利亚巡演作暖场演出,除了在珀斯的演出。并不是大多数澳大利亚乐队都可以为Rod Stewart作暖场演出的。当Air Supply得到这个机会时甚至可以认为这是场变革。Rod在这些年的个人成绩出色,在世界上拥有许多Top 40的金曲。他的经纪人Billy Gaff是一个矮个,话说速度不慢不快的头发少的爱尔兰人,他与Air Supply的经纪团队关系很好。而正是这个关系得以让Air Supply获得这次暖场的机会。 “巡演时,我们乐队才只有在一起6个月。” Russell。“所以这不仅仅是一次令人兴奋的经历,这更像是不同的世界。这是当年最重大的演出。这是摇滚演出的顶峰!”

  许多批评家质疑他为什么要选择一个像Air Supply这样的soft rock乐队作为暖场嘉宾。回忆当时,Graham不完全的惊讶,“我认为Rod那时想要那种圆润不那么硬朗的感觉。暖场是非常重要的环节,因为这会对演出进行加分或者减分,而我们想要低调的融入他的演唱会中。在阿德莱德演出之后,Stewart的经纪人在化妆间走来走去,居然哼着我们的歌。”

  在他的演唱会前的宣传时,Rod Stewart强调他的个人演唱会将和他原先1974年在澳大利亚和The Faces的粗糙的演出的有很大的不同。他坚持认为舞台上的一切都应该是白色的,包括钢琴,音像,地板,服装。“摇滚不必须要穿牛仔裤和古怪沉闷。”经纪人Billy Gaff说。“它可以是戏剧性的和可以是很令人兴奋的。Rod试着让这个演出看着更棒。”

  Rod Stewart在澳大利亚的演出2月7日在珀斯开始,3月3日在新西兰结束。共计进行了12场的演出,Air Supply并没有在珀斯和新西兰演出:

珀斯 - 2月7-8日 (Perth Entertainment Centre: 共计观众人数 - 16,000)
阿德莱德 - 2月11-12日 (Memorial Drive Park: 共计观众人数 - 15,600)
墨尔本 - 2月14-15日 (Festival Hall & Myer Music Bowl: 共计观众人数 - 32,000)
悉尼 - 2月18-19日 (RAS Showground: 共计观众人数 - 38,000. 2月18日由于下雨取消。2月25日重新安排演出)
布里斯班 - 2月21-22日 (共计观众人数 - 15,000)
基督城 (新西兰) - 2月28日 (观众人数 - 15,300)
奥克兰(新西兰) - 3月3日 (观众人数 - 33,000)      

  Rod的演出使用了澳大利亚最好的音像系统。The Jands No. 1 Touring系统,价值25万美元,重达28吨,输出功率高达2万4千瓦。“当然,舞台两边各有一个扬声器。” 音响师Howard Page说,“但这一切都是值得的。‘听起来就像是在听唱片一样。’” 为了能够让2万观众都能看到,一个复杂的彩色电视从伦敦带到这里,为了能让观众在大屏幕看到全场。

  由于澳大利亚相对较少的人口,1977年没有大型的美式室内演出,所以主办方被迫改到相对较大的户外场地演出。这种作法的缺点就是音响效果很差,而且会被天气影响。Rod安排在2月18日在RAS (皇家农业协会) 演出,但飓风导致演出只能取消。而就刚好在Air Supply结束了他们的暖场表演后乌云开始笼罩。然后时速100公里的大风开始吹起,大屏幕和舞台的屋顶都不见了,大雨下在了电子设备上。Rod刚好要走上舞台的时候大会组织者迅速制止了他。在一小时的推迟之后,小雨变成了倾盆大雨,歌迷们躲到舞台后面躲雨。白色的闪电在头顶上传过,歌迷们反复喊着:“我们要Rod!” 让歌迷们失望得是,演出组织者宣布演出只能延期。带着巨大的失望,全身湿透的歌迷唏嘘着离开了场地。许多丢掉票根的歌迷,愤怒的要求知道如何他们才能进入宣布推迟的演唱会。

  尽管很难从被大雨洗刷过的悉尼场馆搭建舞台。演出主办方和Billy Gaff对澳大利亚和新西兰的售票情况相当满意。重新安排的演出放在2月25日,在悉尼RAS安排了一个创纪录32000人的演出。估计大会赞助商单从这场演唱会就能有24万美元的收入进账。这次澳大利亚的巡演被认为是一次财务上的巨大成功。此时在布里斯班,Rod购买了价值9万3000美元的兰博基尼跑车,并且运送到他在加利福尼亚的家中。 迄今为止,Rod Stewart保持着在澳大利亚演出艺人的最高票房纪录。相似的是,出席基督城和奥克兰演唱会的观众占整个新西兰人口的百分之一。

  澳大利亚CBS想要在英国发行单曲 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ ,但还没等这个主意进入花边新闻,一个来自英格兰诺丁汉的乐队就做了一个翻唱版本。Air Supply坐不住了。这首歌没能唱出它本来的特点。CBS做出了让步,在1977年5月1日在英国发行了单曲,这已经是在专辑发行之后的事情了。但是 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 没能吸引到英国电台,而Air Supply在英国的首次登陆就以失望告终。1月,澳大利亚CBS洽谈在美国发行专辑,但在 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 在英国失败之后谈判也不告而终。在加拿大,专辑由哥伦比亚唱片公司和加拿大CBS共同发行。‘Love And Other Bruises’ 是唯一一首单曲,但是没有任何电台播放。

  CBS发行了Air Supply在2月7日发行了的第二张单曲‘Empty Pages’,正好恰逢在珀斯的巡演。‘Empty Pages’没有立即获得像Love and Other Bruises’ 那样的成功,它爬升到Kent Music Report的第43位,并且在排行榜上待了15个星期。 电视真人秀Countdown邀请Air Supply在台上现场演唱‘Empty Pages’,之后,这次演出的片段在1977年3月3日被收录在了Countdown第100次节目庆典中。

  Mark McEntee于2月在Dallas Brooks Hall的演出后离开了乐队。他不满意他自己在乐队中简单的一个雇佣乐手的角色。而他也对乐队的音乐风格不是太热衷。McEntee被墨尔本吉他手Brenton White取代。White娶了Lyndsay Hammond,在多年前他帮助写了 ‘Love and Other Bruises’ 的音乐部分。

      “我通常都是作为吉他手参加制作的。” Mark McEntee说,“我做这个为了生活。我被制作人Peter Dawkins介绍给了Air Supply。Peter那时在CBS唱片公司工作,在我搬到悉尼还是个年轻吉他手的时候他就了解我了。Peter经常找我,所以当他和Air Supply合作是理所当然地找到我了。我参加了第一张专辑的制作,里面有首澳大利亚大热门歌曲 ‘Love and Other Bruises’。在那张专辑后,他们改变了乐队方向,开始演唱众所周知的情歌了。但是第一张专辑确实我很喜欢。这的确相当不同。我在第二张专辑后离开了Air Supply,在歌曲创作上我不是团队的一份子。这不仅仅是我的问题。我和他们合作那仅仅是因为我是乐手。”

  3月9日,7 Network电台播放了90分钟的在Sidney Myer Music Bowl的Rod Stewart演唱会特别节目。希望能够增加他们的评分,HSV-7电台在3周内播放了这次演唱会的演出录音。当地乐队Air Supply也在广播中被播放,演唱了 ‘Love And Other Bruises’。6架摄像机和26轨的音乐混音器提升了视觉和声音效果。广播电台是提升Air Supply知名度的最好的手段。

      Air Supply时不时的得到一些曝光,他们的早些时候的演出被一个新的90分钟午夜档音乐电视秀Nightmoves播出。迎合了一些“另类”的摇滚乐迷。基于墨尔本的Nightmoves由XY disc jockey, Lee Simon主持,并且重点大多是在一些老的从Dan Kirshner的美国摇滚音乐会系列中取自的。这个真人秀节目当然也不会忽略澳大利亚乐队,并且把他们按照城里发生的一些事件比如新发行专辑和巡演额乐队来编排在一起,Nightmoves节目在经历了4年半,242期节目后在1981年取消。”

      3月28日, Air Supply开始录制他们第二张专辑,Peter Dawkins回到制作人位置上。专辑在阿尔伯特录音室录制,6个月前 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 和 ‘If You Knew Me’ 也是在这里录制的。新专辑的音乐风格和第一张专辑相同,但是其中一些歌曲更令人惊讶。Rex Goh,这位来自新加坡的吉他手在录音前代替了Brenton White成为录音吉他手。Goh在1972年搬到了阿德莱德,加入了一支翻唱Yes乐队歌曲的乐队。每个周二晚他们住在Tivoli宾馆。1976年他搬去了悉尼,然后就成为了Air Supply的主音吉他。

  4月,Air Supply的首张专辑获得了澳大利亚认证,销售达2万张的金唱片销量。William Smith,这位澳大利亚CBS董事总经理在悉尼举行了一个特殊的招待会来颁发此奖项。这对Air Supply来说是个不小的成就,但Graham有着更大的雄心:“一个在澳大利亚的成功不说明什么。我们在这个行业内足够长时间,知道有更多东西等在我们后面。我们的首要任务就是证明我们不是昙花一现的乐队。那时有许多澳大利亚乐队,他们卖出白金或者多白金唱片,他们已经认为他们是超级明星了,其实他们只有卖出5万张专辑。”在澳大利亚,2万张专辑和5万张单曲成为一张金唱片,并且5万张专辑和10万张单曲就是一张白金唱片,这和美国的100万张唱片组成一张金唱片和2百万销量组成一张白金唱片相距甚远。“

     在澳大利亚,2万张专辑和5万张单曲被计算成一张金唱片,5万张专辑和10万张单曲计算成为一张白金唱片,与美国标准相差甚远。在美国50万张专辑算成一张金唱片,1百万张成为白金唱片。在1977年澳大利亚电视周刊流行音乐大奖,Peter Dawkins由于制作了Air Supply的首张专辑获得年度制作人大奖。

  Air Supply得到了一次和Rod Stewart一起参加9月开始的北美巡演的机会。Stewart个人选择了Air Supply作为北美巡演嘉宾,之前他们一起在澳大利亚巡演,而在票上印上了“特别嘉宾”字样。 Air Supply的经纪人,Bestall and Reynolds,为了这次北美巡演,支付了1万美元来担保安全。澳大利亚和美国越来越多的头条新闻报道了这次演出。

      “我们的经纪人和 [Rod Stewart’s] 的经纪人Billy Gaff是很好的朋友” Russell说。“我记不清发生了什么,但是我们最后为他作暖场演出在澳大利亚的主要城市。在澳大利亚的第二次演出后,Rod和我们说,‘你们像为我在北美的演出作暖场吗?’ 我们和一个CBS的人商谈后,那个家伙说:“不,这太仓促了。” 我们告诉他说我们想要去演出。他回答我们,‘不,你们应该待在澳大利亚,我们会把你们变成比Sherbet更伟大的。’  Graham回答道,“为什么我们不去美国,看看现实是个什么样的呢。” 我们知道一定会有事情发生,但是不知道是什么。但是我们知道的是 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 仅仅是一个开始。” 所以,违背了澳大利亚唱片公司的意愿,Air Supply准备启程前往美国。

  Air Supply的第二张专辑 ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’于1977年6月27日上架。首支单曲 ‘Do What You Do’ 在5月30日发行,并且达到了Kent Music Report排行榜的第#45位,但是没能进入重要Top 40。单曲在当地榜单上很成功,进入了Top 20。单曲宣传攻势很强烈,包括在Countdown,Sounds Unlimited和Nightmoves电视节目上面演出的宣传视频。人们得知Air Supply被选中支持Rod Stewart越洋进行巡演后冲进了唱片店购买 ‘Do What You Do’ 。但是电视和电台放送并没有转化成唱片销量,尽管澳大利亚CBS营销手段积极, ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ 销量还是低于预期。‘ 这张专辑在日本用不同的封面发行,并且于1991年和2002年重新制作在CD上发行。

      ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ 在大多澳大利亚乐评人眼里都是好的评价:

      Air Supply现在已经身处海外了,在欧洲和北美巡演。但是在他们离开我们之前,他们留下了乐队的第二张专辑 ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’ (CBS SBP 234999)。Graham, Jeremy和Russell 在耶稣超级明星的演出中获得了突破,并且在他们新专辑中的第一首歌曲(‘Teach Me To Run’) 展现出了相当棒的实力。然而 ‘Teach Me To Run’ 也体现出了专辑的风格,好听的和声和强有力的背景旋律。专辑的单曲‘Do What You Do,’ 是一首令人愉快的中速歌曲,而我认为‘The End Of The Line’ 也是首很棒的歌曲。但是却没有一首 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 级别的歌曲。专辑中最棒的歌曲就是‘Love Comes To Me’ ,拥有很棒的和弦和声音- The Age

      随着 ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’专辑的发行,Air Supply度过了许多个忙乱的星期,在昆士兰巡演为了宣传新专辑。这次巡演的高潮发生在6月26日,布里斯班的皇家植物园。为期两天,Air Supply在Toowoomba的Town Hall演出了两场满座的表演,随即在早上6点他们赶去布里斯班宣传他们的新专辑。

      在布里斯班皇家植物园和Skyhooks的演出,完全挤满了歌迷。这是一场免费演出,由布里斯班AM radio station 41P电台赞助,RAM magazine的Ross Gardiner看了演出后写下了这样的评论:

      看过乐队在图文巴和布里斯班的演出后便不难看出乐队为何在美国大获成功。乐队的三名主唱,穿着毫无挑剔的白色长袍,声音和旋律配着Graham Russell感人泪下朗诵,并且用简单的旋律来打动每个人,从14岁的花季少女到只有一只耳朵能听到的老奶奶。

      开场曲‘Teach Me To Run’ 和 ‘What A Life’ 节奏相当欢快, 伴着甜蜜的旋律,听众相应热烈。而和他们面如铁石的Countdown上的演出和类似海浪敲击在悬崖上的情景剧般的电影片段相比,Air Supply达到了一定程度的完整性。

      Rex Goh, 这位新加坡出生的吉他手,作为主音吉他音色十分圆润,从来不过激。Nigel Macara这位澳大利亚顶尖鼓手没有玷污他的名声,轻松地打着节奏。Adrian Scott, 对各类键盘了如指掌,‘Love And Other Bruises’ ‘Feel The Breeze’ 和 ‘Empty Pages’ 表现的非常棒,但是最大的惊喜则是他们的新单曲,‘Do What You Do’ 虽然没有 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 那样强大,但是反响却也是相当的强烈。讽刺的是,这首歌没有包含在他们的美国专辑中。 - Ross Gardiner, RAM

      7月2日,就在Air Supply准备启程前往美国的前三天,他们演出了一场75分钟的告别演唱会,1000名歌迷在历史性的悉尼伊丽莎白剧院观看。一个悉尼乐评人为杂志写了如下评论:

      乐队向不温不火的听众们演出了4首歌曲。有时候,他们是个缺乏凝聚力的亲密团体,但是在他们演唱了‘Love And Other Bruises’ (他们的首支单曲) 之后,获得了热烈的掌声。而唱 ‘Ready For You’ 和 ‘It’s Automatic’ 的时候,他们的手一直在伴着旋律拍打。主唱Russell Hitchcock 拥有多才多艺的声线,唱着吉他手Graham Russell’写的歌。- Variety

      作为Rod Stewart巡演合同的一部分,Air Supply和美国哥伦比亚唱片公司签订了一份唱片合同,Billy Gaff安排了这次签约。Gaff坚信Air Supply会征服美国市场,所以他同意让他们参加巡演,他的合作伙伴Jimmy Horowitz和Tom Dowd来制作和混音新专辑。尽管当时澳大利亚CBS已经开始发行Air Supply的第二张专辑,‘The Whole Thing’s Started’。同时也进行商谈让Air Supply的第一张澳大利亚专辑在美国进行发行。与哥伦比亚的这次新唱片合约让Gaff对Air Supply在美国的走势更有信心,这也就几乎消除了澳大利亚CBS在美国发行两张澳大利亚专辑的可能性。7月4日开始,新专辑音乐和部分声音部分在洛杉矶录制了超过三周。“[然后] 7月26日,我们将去伦敦待3周。” Graham说,“我们和Boz Scaggs还有Chicago一起在CBS国际大会上演出。而我们也在那里完成了声音和一些弦乐部分的录制。Tom Dowd (Rod Stewart的制作人)对这张专辑进行了混音。我们的演奏由Freddy Tackett负责节奏,鼓手(Jeff Porcaro)是来自 [Boz Scaggs] 参与过‘Silk Degrees’专辑。在一些歌曲上,我们也使用了Rod巡演的键盘手Les Dudek,John Jarvis。同时我们也邀请了由Tom发掘的19岁的贝斯手。Tom说他真的很希望参与进这张专辑。”

      “我们使用的美国乐手会给予这张专辑有不同的感觉。” Russell说。“这会更加慵懒和放克。比如 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 将会有同样的曲调,但是节奏上会更快一些。不同的鼓点。” 在完成专辑制作后,Air Supply计划回到洛杉矶宣传专辑,让美国听众熟悉新乐队来做些铺垫。

      Air Supply与澳大利亚CBS公司的关系急剧恶化。在 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 上榜之后很快,Air Supply就让他们的唱片公司大失所望。“几乎是同时,全国都有这样的消极消息说是乐队不和,先是与唱片公司,然后是和我。” Peter Dawkins在他的书《The Icecream Boy》中写道,“最后,乐队和Rod Stewart在澳大利亚一起演出,Stewart的经纪人嗅到了商机。Air Supply被邀请与Rod Stewart在美国和加拿大一起巡演,这对纽约哥伦比亚唱片公司有很大的吸引力。他们让我来担保,我很愉快的接受了,这看起来前景无限。但是很快事情急转直下。我接到了CBS的总裁Dick Asher的电话,他向我道歉,但是结果是Stewart的经纪人Billy Gaff来负责这次巡演,他的合伙人Jimmy Horowitz来制作Air Supply的一张专辑。这是CBS唯一能够立刻做的决定。我做坐的专辑似乎突然不适合美国听众的品味了。尽管这张专辑已经在4个国家走红,包括加拿大。”

      许多建议被小心翼翼地提进了美国专辑中。当Jimmy Horowitz来到澳大利亚为这张专辑做铺垫的时候,他想要至少有8首单曲来供他选择。他通常都会听这些歌25秒来确保其中必须有亮点。假如没有,这首歌就必须被重新编排来确保有。他声称如果一个美国DJ发现一首歌在25秒内没什么值得称赞的地方,那就不会再播放第二次了。Jimmy同样坚持每首歌都不能超过3分20秒。这张专辑将是乐队在澳大利亚发行的两张专辑的合辑。歌曲 ‘Do It Again’ 和专辑 ‘The Whole Thing’s Started’的标题曲都被包括进去了。“总共也是12或者14首歌。” Graham说。“Jimmy正试着把更多的歌放进专辑。其余的像 ‘Empty Pages’,‘Feel The Breeze’,‘Love And Other Bruises’,‘The Weight Is My Soul’ 和 ‘Ready For You’ 都一定会被放进专辑。这些歌都是相当强大的,这点我有信心。”  
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