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Air Supply to show its harder edge

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发表于 2015-11-15 11:24 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune
2:20 am, November 14, 2015


Air Supply can also rock.

Russell Hitchcock wants to stress that.

As the lead singer of Air Supply, Hitchcock is well aware that the term "soft rock" gets attached to the music he turns out.

"It's always really disturbed me because it's not what we are in concert," Hitchcock said in a recent phone interview. "Anybody that's seen us knows that it's not a soft-rock show. It's a rock 'n' roll concert."

Hitchcock and his songwriting-guitarist partner Graham Russell are the duo known as Air Supply.

The pair will be part of a six-member band that plays the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Known for mellow hits such as "Lost in Love" and "All Out of Love," Air Supply also is happy to tout its harder-edged side.

"The music is certainly as romantic as you can get -- the lyric content, the melodies and all that stuff, but it's rock 'n' roll for sure," Hitchcock, 66, said.

From 1980 into 1983, Air Supply's brand of sentimental, relationship-oriented pop music was red hot in America,

Recording for Arista Records, the duo formed in Australia and eventually notched eight Top 10 hits on Billboard's mainstream singles chart, including the No. 1 "The One That You Love."

The sizable catalog of successful tunes gives Hitchcock and Russell, 65, the chance to rev up familiar material in a live setting.

"I mean, it's energetic, loud, aggressive," Hitchcock assured, giving a preview of what can be expected at the Michigan City show. "It's all the things that you wouldn't expect from us if you hadn't seen us before. I'm very proud of the show."

The duo honed its stage skills as the opening act for raspy-voiced rocker Rod Stewart before breaking out in the United States.

Although Air Supply ranks as one of the record-selling powerhouses of the '80s, it has been -- as Hitchcock puts it -- "impossible" for his duo to get radio airplay for their material in more recent years.

"We've released 25 studio CDs, and people -- the general population -- thinks that we stopped recording in 1987," Hitchcock related. "We've taken every new project to people at radio that we know, and there's just a resistance that we can't quite overcome. I've always said you can't fight City Hall."

Still, Hitchcock and Russell continue to churn out fresh, original material, after meeting 40 years ago.

"We just released another new single," Hitchcock said this month. "We've had three new releases in the last 12 months, and the most recent was about a couple of months ago, called 'I Adore You.'"

The singer said the ballad was written by his singing partner, Russell, and rates as "kind of more traditional Air Supply."

In a different vein, Air Supply also has unleashed dance-club fare in recent times.

After several decades of professional singing, Hitchcock said his ardor-laced singing voice is holding up well for new ballads and the like.

"I've been very lucky as far as that's concerned; I listen to the early recordings of ours from the early '80s, and sometimes I think I sound like a girl," he said with a laugh.

However, the Atlanta resident notes that his voice has matured over time: "It's gotten deeper. It's still great."

It was his nearly angelic tenor voice that propelled a large chunk of Air Supply's hit singles.

The last Top 10 American hit for the duo was "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," which first entered the Top 40 in August 1983.

Bill Bero, a Crown Point singer-songwriter, said Air Supply was not one of his favorites, but earned his respect.

"I remember the calming effect their songs had -- light and breezy, mostly; easy on the ears," Bero, a guitarist, recalled.

The heyday of Air Supply's journey was a whirlwind of million sellers and life on the road, which led them to China and Taiwan.

"We were very fortunate. We had great songs," Hitchcock said. "We had Clive Davis in our corner from Arista Records. The bottom line is we did things that, at the time, only a couple of other acts had done. We're part of music history."

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