Playlist: We asked Russell Hitchcock from Air Supply, "What's your favorite song?"
"No matter what the genre is, I like people that can sing well," Hitchcock told The Eagle during a recent telephone interview.
The Beatles were a major influence, he said. Queen's Freddie Mercury and AC/DC's Bon Scott were also among his idols.
Hitchcock and Graham Russell have certainly inspired some reverence for their soft-rock sound, including in Hitchcock's native Australia. Tunes such as "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," "Lost in Love" and "All Out of Love" climbed charts in the early 1980s, but they have persisted in pop culture decades later. The duo will play these songs and more on Sunday, Aug. 12 (7 p.m.), at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Before the show, Hitchcock agreed to answer some questions about his favorite tunes.
What's your favorite song?
My favorite song — and it's between two or three of them — it would have to be "Lost in Love." We recorded that in 1978 and released it in Australia. That was a big hit for us there. ... But it wasn't until it was released in the U.S. in 1980 [that] it really, literally, changed our lives. We were going from trying to get a gig in Australia for two or three hundred dollars a night, and on the basis of "Lost in Love," we started to headline our own tours. The song exploded all over the world. So, that's my sentimental favorite for sure.
What's your favorite song that's not your own?
God, that's a tough one. There are a couple of them. "Bohemian Rhapsody" [by Queen] is an amazing song. I also think that "Africa" by Toto is probably the most well-written, best-arranged musically and vocally song I've heard, so that's up there. I like a lot of stuff, but I'd have to put that up there — as a very famous English football coach once said, 'If it isn't the best, it's in the top one.'
What's your favorite song about love?
It's a really sad song, but it's Bonnie Tyler, 'I Can't Make You Love Me.' I think it's an amazing song. One might not admit it, but if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you have no heart.
What's your favorite song to dance to?
I don't dance.
What's your favorite song to belt out in the car?
Probably "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC.
What's your favorite song by an Australian artist?
There's an artist that you may never have heard of. His name is John Farnham. He's huge. He's like a national treasure in Australia, and he recorded a song called "When the War Is Over." You can see it on YouTube. Hand in hand with that, he's got the best voice I've ever heard in all my years in the business and before the business — just a spectacular voice.
What's your favorite cabaret song?
"New York, New York," by Frank Sinatra.
What's your favorite song to perform live?
My favorite one to perform live is "All Out of Love." As soon as it was released, it became kind of an anthem for us. It's certainly the most heavily requested song at any concert. People are always shouting it out. ... It's really the highlight of the show for me.
Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.
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