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Air Supply singer Russell Hitchcock talks ‘Lost In Love’ tour’s celebration of hard-won success, importance of authenticity

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Note: This article and accompanying conversation have been updated to reflect Air Supply’s summer 2022 tour dates. 

If you were asked to single out a definitive Air Supply song, you could be forgiven for struggling to narrow it down.

First of all, Air Supply racked up a whopping seven consecutive top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — a string that tied them for a record, at the time, with none other than The Beatles. Secondly, many of those hits cited a common word in their titles; for example, “All Out of Love,” “Making Love Out of Nothing At All,” and “The One That You Love” — which soared to number one.

That remarkable record started out with a literal “Love” song, as well; namely, “Lost in Love.” After failing to enter the singles charts for their first few years, Australia’s Air Supply struck gold in 1980; which, oddly enough, is the same year that their Australian country mates AC/DC released “Back In Black.”

While the Young brothers duck-walked and shot cannons, however, Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell stayed true to their personal brand of lush love songs with sumptuous, string-filled serenades – and radio could not get enough of it.

Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell of Air Supply stand in the desert for an Air Supply promotional shoot. Graham Russell has a guitar under his arm.
Australian hit-makers Air Supply are headed to the Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta Saturday, February 26. (peoplesbanktheatre.com)

Eventually, the tides of American rock radio shifted; but Air Supply never wavered from their signature sound. Rather than being left to dry as the tides shifted from North America, however, Air Supply merely followed the tides to other continents. In the ’90s, while grunge was surging in the States, Air Supply’s career in Asia kicked into high gear.

This might surprise some, given how many Asian languages bear little resemblance to English; but it’s a testament to how Air Supply’s consistent, compelling anthems of professing love are universal in their appeal – transcending dialects and distances across the globe and validating the successes of their drives to be sincere, no matter how much long-forgotten critics might have scoffed along the way.

This year, Air Supply is celebrating the roots of their success. They have embarked on the Lost In Love Experience Tour, named after that first smash hit of theirs; and also after the live album that they recently recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

Air Supply is touring across North America, and this includes a show at the historic Peoples’ Bank Theatre in Marietta (222 Putnam Street) on Saturday, February 26.

Ahead of that concert, WOUB’s Ian Saint had the chance to speak with Air Supply’s lead singer, Russell Hitchcock. They had a fascinating chat on a wide variety of topics, including: how Air Supply was rewarded for their authenticity in the long run, despite facing cold critical receptions for years; the drivers of their sudden stratospheric success with “Lost in Love” in 1980, and sustaining their chart reign through the next several singles; manifesting his music career dream in his 30s, and how Russell kept motivated as his 20s ended in struggle. You can stream the full interview on-demand, by clicking play on the SoundCloud widget beneath the headline.

Air Supply performed live at the Peoples’ Bank Theatre in Marietta on Saturday, February 26. Air Supply will later return to Ohio again in the summer; playing the Robins Theatre in (160 East Market Street) Warren on Friday, July 15 and The Rose Music Center (6800 Executive Blvd) in Huber Heights on Saturday, July 16.

For a full list of Air Supply’s tour dates, with links to tickets, visit their official website: airsupplymusic.com.