AIR SUPPLY: THE DEFINITIVE DVD COLLECTION
Review by Michael Jacobson
Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Video: Standard 1.33:1
Length: 90 Minutes
Release Date: April 3, 2001
The late 70’s/early 80’s were a great time to be a pop
music act from Australia. FM radio
airwaves made major stars out of Aussies like Olivia Newton-John, the Little
River Band, Men at Work, Rick Springfield, and, of course, Air Supply.
The duo of Russells (Graham and Hitchcock) became the prominent soft rock
attraction of their time, with a body of beautifully crafted love songs,
romantic ideals, and Russell Hitchcock’s amazing tenor vocals.
The Definitive DVD Collection from Arista is exactly
that. The 15 tracks on this disc,
comprised of music videos and live performances, document an era of music that
is no more, but still just as close as your favorite adult contemporary radio
I’m not embarrassed to admit I’m a fan of the group.
Apart from Paul Simon, no other artist had as much influence on my first
formative years attempting to play the guitar and write songs.
Tunes like “Lost in Love”, “Every Woman in the World”, “All Out
of Love” and the stirring, bombastic “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”
tapped directly into a romantic sensibility that I, like many others, treasured.
You had your Eric Clapton, your Led Zeppelin, your Rod Stewart…these
were the artists you put on when a sexual conquest was on the evening’s menu.
But for true romance, with wine, candles, and staring into the eyes of
someone you loved, Air Supply was the music you played.
This disc is nicely composed, with an introduction and
farewell by Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, plus recollections by the duo
about each song and/or video. The
structure of the disc is such where each song and interview segment has its own
chapter stop, which makes for easy navigation if you happen to only want the
The songs are great. The
videos? Less than inspiring, but
you have to remember the infantile stage MTV and the art of music video was in
at the time. These guys are
terrific musicians…sex symbols they ain’t, nor are they actors.
The opening ten seconds or so of the “Making Love…” video had me in
tears with laughter at how indescribably cheesy it was.
Of course, the lameness of a video doesn’t detract from the majesty of
a song, so no harm done…in fact, laughing at the videos was a bonus for me.
I also watched this disc with a profound sense of
nostalgia. This period in pop music
was kind of a magical time for me…I was still a kid, and very idealistic, and
the words of a simple but sincere love song could inspire the imagination as
well as touch the heart. Yes, I
laugh at some of the videos, but mostly, I smile from the memories.
For anyone who once loved this music, and given the
band’s popularity at their apex, that has to be quite a few, this disc is a
treasure trove of great songs and a blissful stroll down memory lane.
After more than two decades of making music, Air Supply still proves
there’s nothing like the feeling of being in love, or the romantic song that
captures and preserves that feeling.
The video quality is okay, particularly considering the age
of the material and the hodgepodge collection of sources from which they came.
There are excusable problems that naturally come from old images
preserved on videotape, like a few noticeable lines, a bit of softness around
the edges, faded coloring…nobody is about to spend the money it would take to
restore them, so this is about as good as its going to get.
There’s nothing about the transfer that is unwatchable…in fact, the
obvious aging artifacts lend a kind of charm and ease to slipping back into the
memories these songs will open up.
The stereo mix is standard fare and nothing to get excited
about…the new 5.1 mix, however, is much more impressive.
It’s lively and dynamic, with a strong bottom end and full open sound
emanating from all channels for a potent and charged listening experiences.
With Dolby Digital audio, these old songs sound even better than you
remember…a real treat.
What’s billed as a ‘feature’ is actually just a use
of the subtitle function, which shows the lyrics to select songs when you
This isn’t the best music DVD you will own, but for fans of the group, Air Supply: The Definitive DVD Collection is a more than welcome trip down memory lane with a collection of terrific songs by one of soft rock’s most prolific acts. The new interview segments are a nice touch, and even if you chuckle at the videos, you’ll warm to the music. Share this disc with the one that you love.