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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Air Supply - 1985 Air Supply
Air Supply - 1985 Air Supply

ARTIST: Air Supply
ALBUM: Air Supply
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: 257039
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Russell Hitchcock - vocals * Graham Russell - vocals, acoustic guitar * Wally Stocker - guitars * Don Cromwell - bass * Frank Esler-Smith - keyboards, string arra ngements * Ken Rarick - keyboards * Ralph Cooper - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just As I Am * 02 The Power Of Love * 03 I Can't Let Go * 04 After All * 05 I Wanna Hold You Tonight * 06 Make It Right * 07 When The Time Is Right * 08 Sandy * 09 Great Pioneer * 10 Black And Blue * 11 Sunset * 12 Never Fade Away


I've had this CD in my collection for years, but never really trumpeted its quality. This 1985 album was released after a three year break, in-between a few Greatest Hits LP's made it to the stores, but you have to wind the clock back to 1982 and that year's 'Now And Forever' album as their last studio release. By this stage, the band had taken on a new line-up: former Babys guitarist joins the fold, as does bassist Don Cromwell (Ransom) and keyboardist Ken Rarick, who has played with a heap of artists including Glenn Medeiros, Madonna and Cher. Cooper and Esler-Smith return, along with the main duo in question: messrs Hitchcock and Russell.

The Songs
The album would best be remembered for containing a variation on Jennifer Rush's mega hit single 'The Power Of Love'. This version is pretty good too, highlighting Hitchcock's amazing vocal range. However, it was the opening track 'Just As I Am' (co written by Rob Hegel and Dick Wagner incidentally - strange but true), which ended up being the first single release. Billy Steinberg also provides a few co-writes including the majestic and soaring vocal oriented 'I Can't Let Go' and the punchy good time feel of 'Black And Blue' - despite the lyrical connotations. For me the best moments are the highly infectious pop of 'I Wanna Hold You Tonight' (with its bass popping antics courtesy of Don Cromwell) and the rather awesome guitar dependent 'Make It Right', featuring some lovely analog delay effects from Wally Stocker. The band covers a version of Springsteen's 'Sandy', which was also previously done by The Hollies. I like this version, but many say it's out of place on this album.

In Summary
Some have commented on why only a handful of tracks were released as singles, when potentially more could have made the grade. I think with three years being out of the spotlight certainly put Air Supply out of the public reach, and even though this album was still considered a pop record, it was up until this point, far rockier than their earlier stuff. The band went on to make 'Hearts In Motion' during 1986, plus Russell Hitchcock released his debut solo album in 1988. There are reports he also made an 'un released album' during 1986 but this has never seen the light of day. Air Supply would re-convene successfully during the 90's, releasing a brace of excellent albums including the wonderful 'Vanishing Race' from 1993, and are still in the game as of 2008 - a new album called 'Zed' to hit the stores that year.

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#1 | Eric on January 20 2008 14:35:09
Always have a soft spot for these guys. They were mellow and soft and wore it like a badge of honor yet they could rock and musically they had the talent to back it up. Another great album.
#2 | jefflynnefan on January 21 2008 03:23:12
'Even The Nights Are Better' is my favorite song by Air Supply. You know they are big ELO fans, don'tcha, Eric?
#3 | jeffduran on January 21 2008 06:54:00
Great review! This, 1986 'Hearts In Motion' and 1993 'The Vanishing Race' are they're most consistent releases imo.
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