Will new musical raise Air Supply to stratosphere?
By John Benson
Air Supply is hoping its upcoming musical “Lost in Love” does for its catalog what “Mamma Mia!” did for ABBA a decade ago.
“That’s always a great role model, and so is ‘Jersey Boys,’” said Air Supply singer Graham Russell, calling from Park City, Utah. “Our music really lends itself to a musical. We’ve been waiting for some years for the right story. Several of them came, but we didn’t feel they were right. The story really needs to elevate itself to the music because the music kind of speaks for itself. To have a ‘Mamma Mia!’ kind of success would be great, but the long-term goal would be to get our music across to a new generation.”
So far, “Lost in Love” held three readings with Broadway stars Constantine Maroulis and Andrea McArdle, with an opening run taking place next May in Singapore. The goal is for the musical to arrive stateside at the end of 2014.
As for Air Supply itself, the ’80s adult contemporary act – known for ubiquitous hits “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Every Woman in the World,” “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You),” “Sweet Dreams” and “Even the Nights Are Better” — is still going strong nearly 40 years into a career.
Even though the act hasn’t had a charting radio hit in 30 years, Russell and fellow singer Russell Hitchcock remain popular on the touring circuit. This includes a Thursday show at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.
When asked about the secret to Air Supply’s continued success on the road, Russell said, “It’s because the biggest misconception is people who haven’t seen us before always think it’s very mellow and quiet, but it’s not. It’s loud. It’s a rock ’n’ roll band and it’s right in your face with a very passionate and very energetic show. We’re all over the place, all of the time. It’s a great show.”
Going all over the place aptly describes Air Supply’s new EP “Our Time,” which is due out this fall. Not only does this mark the first time the duo released an EP but it also features the act’s first attempt at a dance song with “Desert Sea Sky.”
“We started to play it live two weeks ago, and it’s been stealing the show,” Russell said. “It just brings the house down. People want to rock, dance and have some fun and that’s what they’re doing. Everybody is going crazy for it. It’s interesting, I’ve loved dance music for years, but I never thought it would be right for us.”
The irony of course is that Air Supply first emerged on the scene during the disco era, but it’s taken nearly four decades for them to finally record a dance track. What’s next, an Air Supply hip-hop album?
“Hey, you never know,” laughed Russell. “Wouldn’t that be cool?”