This review is from: Air Supply (Audio CD)
Goodness me, this album is selling for sky high prices these days and anyone who hasn't got a copy is really missing out. Surely a more mainstream release is due with the original cover featuring Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock and not those darned sailing boats!?
Released in the mid 80s, this album contained six Air Supply classics as follows:-
1) The Power of Love. You've heard Jennifer Rush's original, Celine Dion's big hit cover but I'll bet not many people have heard this version and that's a shame as it's a great production. Russell sings "you are my lady, and I am your man" which doesn't detract from the tune at all, unlike where some songs 'jar' if they are reverse-gendered. Every bit as good as the original and better than the Celine Dion version.
2) I can't let go. Just a wonderful Graham Russell/Billy Steinberg ballad with a soaring chorus and Russell reaching those high notes with perfection.
3) When the time is right. A song that should be titled 'Jane, take me to your room again'. Written by the unknown (to me) Gerald Milne a song with contrasting verses and chorus.
4) Great Pioneer. A slightly whimsical, mid-tempo song with a flute-like riff to it. Another great production.
5) Sunset. The most simplistic song on the album. Just Russell and the guitar accompany this song on the first of two verses with the lush orchestration entering on the second verse. A peaceful, soothing song, again written by Graham Russell which must have been great to sing live and serves to whet the appetite for the final track....
6) Never fade away. The final track and surely Graham Russell's most underrated composition. The song is a slow burner with Graham himself singing the verses whilst Russell takes over for the stonking chorus. At the refrain, the pitch incredibly goes up with Russell again shining on the high notes. Why is this song not better known?
So that's the six outstanding tracks, but what of the rest of the album? The opening track 'Just as I am' was the first single and it's a mid tempo ballad written by Rod Hegel and Dick Wagner (who?) that packs some nice guitar licks. 'After All' is standard Air Supply fare written by Seth Swirsky (who again). 'I wanna hold you tonight' and 'Make it right' are two tracks co-written by Graham Russell that are the albums weak points for me. 'Sandy' is a cover of the 1973 Bruce Springsteen track from 'The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle' which is a surprise addition. Finally 'Black and Blue' (another Graham Russell co-written song) has a great 80s feel intro but is let down by a fairly innocuous tune.
Definitely a mixed bag album in totality but warrants five stars for the quality of the six tracks I have highlighted. My favourite Air Supply original album, and one that comes out of the cabinet time and time again.