Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Making Love Out of Nothing At All" by Air Supply

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  1550
Date:  07/30/1983
Debut:  62
Peak:  2
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Air Supply were not necessarily on the skids, but their soft rock was losing favor. Their album Now and Forever got them their seventh consecutive Top 5 hit with "Even the Nights Are Better," but the streak ended with that song. Their next two singles both peaked at a lowly #38. Feeling the pressure to keep the hits going, Air Supply got a chance to record this song written by Jim Steinman (the guy behind Meat Loaf's hits). The epic Steinman-produced tune would fill out the band's upcoming Greatest Hits LP while an edited version would be set for single release. The song debuted on the Pop chart two weeks after another Steinman track hit the chart - Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Unexpectedly, Steinman found his two songs battling it out for chart supremacy. The two bombastic ballads would go neck-and-neck, but ultimately "Total" reigned supreme hitting #1 for four weeks. It's place at the top kept "Making Love" at the #2 spot for three of those weeks. At AC though, Air Supply would reach #2 while Tyler would hit #7. The song became Air Supply's third gold record and it made their Greatest Hits album their best-selling reaching 5x platinum. It was a triumphant return for them, but it was short-lived as it would be their last to reach the Pop Top 10. Steinman would benefit the most of anyone as the dual hits made him an in-demand writer/producer.

ReduxReview:  As much as I love this song, I had to give the win to "Total" as well. It just had that extra oomph (production, Tyler's raspy voice, etc.) that made it perfect. But this tune is no slouch. It's probably the most rockin' Air Supply has been and singer Russell Hitchcock's big voice and range was tailor-made for a Steinman epic. Even people I knew who hated the "lame" Air Supply admitted that they liked this song. It was just that good...and it still is. What ticks me off is that, yet again, Air Supply was denied a Grammy nod. It should have, at very minimum, received a Pop Group Vocal nomination thanks to Hitchcock's performance. Arrgh. Stupid Grammys.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Like several of Steinman's compositions, this song has its roots in another one of his works. In 1980, Steinman wrote the score to a small film called A Small Circle of Friends. He used the main title theme from that score as the basis for this song. The film, starring Brad Davis, Karen Allen, and Jamison Parker, was not a hit. However, first-time director Rob Cohen would go on to helm the hits Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the original The Fast and the Furious.  2) Later in 1995, Bonnie Tyler would take a crack at this song for her album Free Spirit. Her version (produced by Steinman) would be released as the first single from the album, but it failed to make any impression here in the US.  However, it did reach a few charts in Europe including the UK (#45) and Belgium (#2).


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