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第二十二章:边缘项目和精选辑 (1999-2000) (Side Projects & Greatest Hits)

发布者: hitchcock | 发布时间: 2013-4-12 14:37| 查看数: 11809| 评论数: 3|帖子模式

Chapter Twenty-Two: Side Projects & Greatest Hits (1999-2000)

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Early Promo Photos For Forthcoming Album

      Work on a new Air Supply album was well under way in early 1999, but its release date was pushed back when Arista decided to release a comprehensive hits collection in North America. The band did not want to have conflicting projects, so the album of new material was to be delivered to Giant Records in early 2000. Graham and Russell were personally involved in putting the hits collection together, and were determined to include the original Australian version of ‘Lost In Love’ on the CD, but neither the band or Arista had access to a digital recording of the song. When Air Supply held their second fan appreciation day at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in May 1999, Graham asked if he could borrow a copy of the ‘Life Support’ CD, which contained the original version of ‘Lost In Love.’

      Air Supply toured throughout the U.S. in the summer of 1999, including multiple dates in Las Vegas. In June, they co-headlined a large concert with Rick Springfield in Kettering, Ohio. Tickets to the show were rumoured to be selling for $250. Springfield, who had not toured in eleven years, performed songs from each of his early 80s albums and his current single ‘It’s Always Something.’ Air Supply performed a condensed set list of nine songs, including their newest tune ‘Only One Forever.’ The Kettering show featured Christopher Pellani on drums, Jed Moss on piano and Cliff Rehrig on bass.

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(Photos courtesy of Daniel Salome)

      Graham’s desire to produce other musicians was fulfilled in 1999 when his independent production company, A Nice Pear, released a CD from a band called Wet Cement. Recorded at Graham’s home studio, recently renamed Woodland Magic, the CD was produced by Graham and Mark Williams, with artwork and design by Jodi Russell. Graham co-wrote and played guitar on a track called ‘I Do,’ and sang backup vocals on another called ‘Curiosity.’

      The Russell’s discovered Wet Cement, comprised of three teenagers from Kamas, Utah, after hearing their four-song demo cassette, which was recorded in a band member’s garage. “We get a lot of tapes sent to us,” said Jodi. “But this tape was different. The group was very rough, but Graham and I liked them immediately. Their songs were fabulous!” Jodi became the band’s manager, and on the day of their CD launch in August, Wet Cement opened for Air Supply at a benefit concert at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. “It was definitely fun,” said bassist Coby Coonradt. “There were about 2,000 people, and they were really into our music. That’s pretty exciting for a garage band from Kamas.” Following the Abravanel Hall performance, Graham and Jodi were approached by Warner Music and WorldWide Entertainment with offers to sign the band. Preparations for a European tour began, and a video shoot took place for what was to be the band’s first single, ‘Abduction Song.’ It looked as if Wet Cement was on the verge of stardom, but the three young musicians decided to walk away from it all. Based on religious beliefs, Wet Cement did not agree with Warner’s insistence on making the ‘Abduction Song’ music video racy. They decided to quit the music business and focus on the mission field. “They were so close,” said Jodi. “They could have gone all the way. They were very, very talented, and they had a great vibe. It’s taken some time, because we were so passionate about what they could have accomplished, but we do respect their decision.”

      Air Supply’s growing popularity in India and their association with BMG Crescendo allowed them to record a duet, ‘You Are,’ with Indian pop singer Mehnaz Hoosein. It was written and composed by Graham, and was included on the soundtrack for the controversial Indian movie Split Wide Open. Produced by BMG Crescendo, Tropic Films and Adlabs Films, Split Wide Open was a selection at the 1999 Venice Film Festival, and later came under harsh criticism in India because of its focus on sexuality. Graham was deeply moved by the story of the film, revolving around the search of a young hustler who sells water on the streets of Bombay for his adopted sister. ‘You Are’ was recorded with a mix of English and Hindi lyrics and was a big hit in India.

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'You Are' Video Shoot (1999)

      Mehnaz was already a rising star in her country after releasing her first album (‘Miss India’) in 1996, which featured the hit singles ‘Mein Hoon’ and ‘Miss India.’ That same year, she won Best Female Vocalist at the Channel [V] Music Awards, and also at the Screen-Videocon Awards. But her duet with Air Supply propelled Mehnaz into the limelight as an Indian celebrity. “Collaborating with Air Supply opened new doors for me,” said Mehnaz. “They were very big in the 80s, and I hadn’t thought of ever doing a duet with them. But it just happened at the Channel [V] awards in 1996. When I won that year, they were performing. The company (BMG Crescendo) spoke about collaborating with them, but the song took two years to work at because it was very difficult to co-ordinate. ‘You Are’ is a beautiful ballad, for the recording of which I had to fly down to Los Angeles. A video, shot in the Mojave Desert, California, is truly international class, and has won accolades.” The music video, interspersed with clips from the film, was first telecast in India on December 20, 1999. It was filmed in sub-zero temperatures on the dry river-bed of the legendary Mojave River.

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'The Definitive Collection' - North America & Japan

      As part of their Masters reissue series, Arista released the highly anticipated Air Supply hits compilation, ‘The Definitive Collection,’ on August 23. The CD contained 18 tracks, including the seldom heard Australian version of ‘Lost In Love.’ All tracks were digitally remastered to 20-bit technology. A collectors booklet was included, featuring pictures and liner notes for each song written by Graham and Russell. “We cull the very best material from their entire Arista catalogue,” explains Arista VP Steve Bartels, “then remaster it and include whatever special bonus tracks and packaging we think might be appropriate.” Arista began releasing the Masters Series three years earlier, and many of the compilations were very successful. “Looking back at the first Arista Masters release in 1996 with Patti Smith,” said Arista’s director of special markets (U.S.) Gary Pacheco, “the goal behind everything we have done has been to gather the songs that best define the artist.” In November, BMG and Arista released ‘The Definitive Collection’ in Japan with different cover art. The song list was identical to its North American counterpart. ‘The Definitive Collection’ was a big seller in many parts of the world, including Jamaica where Kingston newspaper The Gleaner wrote:
This album is a must-have for Air Supply fanatics worldwide. Distributed by Sonic Sounds, this CD offers a lifeline to music fans floundering in the seas of tortured syntax of American rappers, empty sentiments and bubble gum pop that passes for music these days. An added plus to the CD is the new liner notes by Graham and Russell that will give the hopelessly besotted fan invaluable information with a personalized touch on all their favourite tracks.

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(Bottom Left) Cardboard Sleeve Promo CD - Taiwan

      Air Supply was involved with the movie business again when a short clip from their 1995 Taiwan concert (‘Sweet Dreams’) was included in an independent film called Suits. Filmed in 1996 and released on September 26, 1999, Suits is a comedy that covers a war between business executives and creative teams, as two ad agencies compete for a major account. The movie was a disappointment at the box office, opening on two screens in the U.S. and grossing just $3,676. Suits was released on DVD in 2009 and experienced a small resurgence because it featured actor Steve Carell in one of his earliest roles. Russell and Graham had been asked to play a greater role in the film, but decided against it. “We decided not to do it because it was a bit silly,” said Graham.

      On December 21, Giant and BMG released an international hits compilation by Air Supply called ‘The Ultimate Collection.’ It was titled ‘The Ultimate Collection...Millennium’ in some countries, and featured different cover art and CD packaging. The album offered the most varied collection of Air Supply’s hits to date because it was the first-ever collaboration between Giant, Arista and BMG. Produced by Graham, Russell, Clive Gardiner and Jeff Aldrich, the hits collection was distributed by BMG International in several variations: a 17-track promotional CD in a folded cardboard sleeve (Taiwan); a 34-track double CD; a 17-track single CD with bonus VCD (including music videos for ‘Goodbye,’ ‘Unchained Melody,’ ‘Strong, Strong Wind’ and ‘Lost In Love’); and a 17-track single CD. In addition, a limited (5,000 copies) double CD with bonus VCD was released exclusively in Taiwan. BMG Thailand offered a limited edition (100 copies) velvet box package with gold plated CD and VCD. All five variations were digitally remastered from the original master tapes, and prepared using the latest 24-bit technology. ‘The Ultimate Collection’ included two new recordings, ‘Longer’ and ‘The Scene.’ ‘Longer’ was originally sung by Dan Fogelberg in 1980, whom Russell lists as one of his favourite singers. “The two tracks (‘Longer’ and ‘The Scene’) give an indication of the kind of music we’ll be doing in the future,” said Graham.

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Millennium Concert, Singapore (National Stadium)

      Air Supply headlined a massive Millennium concert on New Year’s Eve at the National Stadium in Singapore as part of a short promotional tour of Asia. While much of the world was on standby in anticipation of Y2K-related disasters, a crowd between 50-60,000 watched Air Supply perform. Accompanying the band to Singapore was the new bride (Dawn) of guitar manager Mark ‘Sparky’ Sweatt. The couple were married in Vegas shortly before the trip. Russell took advantage of the New Year’s Eve festivities to propose to his girlfriend Laurie. They were married three months later, on March 9, 2000.

      The Asian tour was called the Greatest Hits Tour 2000, and included stops in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia. To heighten awareness of ‘The Ultimate Collection’ CD, BMG Thailand distributed free promotional CD’s, titled ‘Air Supply Live In Bangkok,’ to concert ticket holders. The 8-track CD contained two songs from Air Supply (‘All Out Of Love’ and ‘Goodbye’), plus songs from other artists signed to BMG. “Audiences in Asia were treated to several new songs in the show,” said Graham. “Songs such as ‘Restless’ and ‘Why Don’t You Come Over’ will be played at random and chosen before showtime. Also coming into the show for a while will be ‘Goodbye,’ which we have not been playing in the U.S.”

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Genting Highlands, Malaysia - Jan. 15, 2000

      The year 2000 was Air Supply’s 25th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, BMG and Giant promoted ‘The Ultimate Collection’ album quite heavily throughout Asia. ‘Longer’ was released as a promotional single in parts of Southeastern Asia, where it received only minor recognition from radio. On the Malaysian leg of the tour, Air Supply held a quick press conference in Kuala Lumpur, before playing a single concert at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands.

      The concert at Genting Higlands was organized by Genting City of Entertainment and BMG Records Malaysia. Air Supply performed as an economical five-member group, as they had now for several years. The stage presentation was mostly unchanged from recent tours, with the only significant difference being a large video screen placed behind the musicians that showed close-ups of the band mixed with National Geographic-type scenes of nature and space. The band ran through most of their big hits to start the show, much to the appreciation of the large crowd. Graham introduced two newer songs, ‘The Scene’ and ‘Only One Forever,’ the later being a vocal piece accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. Both tunes received only mediocre applause. Graham said that ‘Only One Forever’ is “about finding that perfect person with whom we want to spend our lifetime after the teenage and youth years of dating different people.” The crowd sprung back to life when the band played ‘Two Less Lonely People In The World’ and ‘Every Woman In The World.’ “We have rewritten a lot of our old songs,” said Graham. “This year we have brought back the song ‘Every Woman In The World,’ which we have not sung for years. We have a lot of fun doing it again.” Surprisingly, the mega-hit ‘Making Love Out Of Nothing At All’ was somehow left out this night despite being originally slated to be performed near the end of the show. The New Straits Times review of the concert was mostly positive, but highlighted some challenges:

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Website Redesign 2000

      Something seemed imperfect about the sound mixing levels and we saw Hitchcock signalling his sound team constantly, at one point even forgetting one or two lines of lyrics as he tried to get his point across to someone. On the whole, the Genting concert was not grand in terms of personnel (it did not have a 40-member big band orchestra) nor was it a technical sensation with dazzling lights and other special effects extravaganza. Nevertheless, it gave die-hard fans what they wanted that night, which was a sentimental and warm journey down memory lane where they got to see the faces and hear the legendary voices of two artists who gave them timeless classics.

      BMG, the parent company of Arista Records, announced in May that Clive Davis would be stepping down as president. Clive was instrumental in Air Supply’s success in the 80s. Arista went on to have one its best years ever in 2000, posting $425 million in sales during the first nine months.

      On May 13, Russell and Graham performed an acoustic set at the Miss Utah Pageant in Park City, Utah. The pageant was under the direction of Jodi Russell and Rosanne Swint. Jodi designed the cover of the pageant program book, a skill she would develop and use on future Air Supply projects, such as the redesigned website.

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Press Photo - Giant Records, 2000

      The Russell’s boutique label, A Nice Pear, was actively pursuing new talent. Through Jodi’s involvement in the pageantry business, a 14-year-old vocal sensation named Shari Short was discovered. Jodi’s pageantry partner, Rosanne Swint, first met Shari at the World Cup of Wreslting in Spokane, Washington, where Shari opened the competition with three songs: ‘The National Anthem,’ ‘The Power of a Dream’ and ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’ Rosanne asked the young singer if she would like to try out for the Miss Idaho Teen USA Pageant. “At first I told her I wasn’t sure if I was interested,” said Shari. “Then she told me if would be great promotion for my music. So I decided to enter, thinking I could sing and play guitar for the talent portion of the competition. Little did I know there was no talent portion because it was a swimsuit competition!” Shari entered the competition regardless, and despite being one of the youngest contestants, she won the Miss Idaho Teen USA crown.

      While preparing for the Miss Teen USA Pageant, Shari travelled to Salt Lake to train with Rosanne. “One night we took a break and went up to Sundance to eat dinner with her pageantry partner Jodi Russell,” said Shari. “There was a younger man playing the guitar and singing in the restaurant. He must have noticed that I was watching him closely because on his break he came over and asked me if I played? I told him yes, and he encouraged me to go on stage and play. So I played a few of my original songs. Jodi was shocked and said, ‘Oh my gosh, my husband has to hear you.’ Her husband happened to be Graham Russell of Air Supply. I was thrilled!” Shari admits that she did not know who Air Supply was at first. After all, she was born after the band had their biggest success in the early 80s. Graham trusted his wife’s instincts, and he knew that great things can be found in out-of-the-way places. “I came from the little town of Sherwood in Nottingham, so I can relate,” he said.  

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Shari Short

      Five weeks later, after winning Miss Congeniality at the Miss Teen USA Pageant in Louisiana, Shari flew back to Salt Lake City to meet Graham. She went to an Air Supply show at the Utah State Fair and was amazed at what great performers they were. “This made me more anxious for them to hear my work,” said Shari. “They took me backstage, and [Graham] said ‘Come up tomorrow afternoon and let me hear you play.’ The next day we went to Graham’s studio. I sat down and played my stuff, and he was very interested. I was supposed to leave the next day, but everyone was so into it that I ended up staying a whole week and immediately started on an album.” Shari recorded four of her original songs in the Russell’s Woodland Magic Studio, where Graham mixed her guitar playing with bass and drum accompaniment by Air Supply band members. One of the tracks was called ‘Pull The Trigger,’ a song Shari wrote about a close friend who had committed suicide. “When I first heard it, I went ‘Wow. That’s something else,’” said Graham. “It’s a really deep thing to come from such a young person. It’s very emotional. That depth of emotion really tells me something. When she plays that live, people start crying. To me, they [all] sound like hit songs. I can see her opening for Air Supply in the distant future. I think she has great potential to be a major star.”  

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Ecuador, South America 2000 (Right: Cliff Rehrig)

      In early June, Air Supply worked on their own album at Woodland Magic Studio. “The new album is nearing completion,” confirmed Graham. “Russell will be in Utah this week (June 7) to resume singing after our recent shows in Arizona, Ohio and Michigan. The album has no title yet, just a few ideas. Coming into the live show soon will be two new songs from the album, ‘If You Love Me,’ and ‘Don’t Throw Our Love Away.’ They are certain to be evergreens at our shows as ‘The Scene’ and ‘Only One Forever’ have become. Since the next album marks 25 years that we have been in the industry, we are seriously thinking of doing a Beatles song, because they have been a big influence on us since we were young.”

      Bassist Cliff Rehrig played his last show with Air Supply on July 23, 2000. He was a member of the band for almost nine years, the longest stretch of any Air Supply bass player. “I am going to take some time to be with my family,” said Cliff. “I will miss all the band members and crew guys. They truly are the nicest guys I have ever worked with.” Returning to Air Supply after a lengthy absence was bass player Larry Antonino. During his time away, Larry was recognized by the film industry with a gold record award for his contribution on the soundtrack for Tom Hank’s 1997 film, That Thing You Do! Larry also played the role of Scott ‘Wolfman’ Pell in the film.

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Graham, Russell, Larry Antonino (Mexico 2000)

      Larry reunited with Air Supply for a long stretch of tours outside the U.S., including multiple dates in Australia and New Zealand in August. The tour of New Zealand was Air Supply’s first visit to the island country, and the band was unsure how they would be received. “Any fears we may have had were soon put to rest after the show,” said Russell, “as the audience sang along loudly and were really involved in the show with us. Of the cities that we played there, Wellington was by far the loudest. It’s been a long time since I have heard an audience make as much noise as they did!” While walking around the city of Christchurch between shows, Graham bumped into one of the cast members that had been in Jesus Christ Superstar with the duo. “We hadn’t seen her (Rosa Shiels) for twenty-four years,” said Russell. “We had afternoon tea with her and reminisced about old times. She came along to see our concert that evening. I was very proud to have her see just how far we’d come since those very early days.”

      After a month of concerts back in the U.S., the band spent two exhausting weeks touring the interior of Mexico in September. Very few bands ventured into this part of the country for any length of time, but Air Supply attracted enthusiastic crowds at every stop. “It’s always a tremendous feeling to be on stage in different parts of the world,” said Russell, “and have our fans respond so wonderfully to our music.” The international tour continued throughout South and Central America, including the bands first visit and performance in Uruguay. After a brief rest back home in the U.S., they departed for a two week tour of Asia in November, with shows in Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Korea and Japan.

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      On November 16, Air Supply was invited to perform before the Sultan of Brunei. The tiny Nation of Brunei Darussalam, located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, was hosting the eighth annual APEC 2000 Summit in the International Conference Centre. Air Supply’s presence was requested by the Sultan himself, who lists the band as one of his favourite acts. It was Air Supply’s first visit to Brunei, where they performed during a farewell party for APEC delegates in the grandiose 200-room Empire Hotel, complete with gold-plated ceiling, two cinemas, an eight-lane bowling alley and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Whitney Houston also performed before the Sultan of Brunei in 1996, and was paid a lavish sum.

      “We stayed in this hotel when we were [in Brunei] and it had like 800 rooms,” said Russell. “The guy who was the liaison between the Sultan and us was giving us a bit of history about the Sultan. He had this hotel built for his brother for a weekend getaway. Just a place where his brother could hang out with 800 rooms. Apparently, [the Sultan] found out that his brother had his fingers in the till so he took the place away from him and turned it into a hotel. His suite in the theatre had 24 carat gold thread in the carpet. But he was a great guy. For our show, it was apparently the first time he ever sat down in the audience to see a show. He usually sat in his regal box up near the top. That was quite a compliment.”  

      Air Supply’s tour schedule for 2000 concluded in early December after two concerts on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The band returned to their respective homes in the U.S. for some much needed rest over Christmas and New Years, before completing the new album in January. Recent concerts had the band playing many new songs, giving fans an idea of what the new album might sound like. “We are very excited about it,” said Russell, “and I think you’ll find that it will quickly become a fan favourite. It is scheduled for a spring or summer release.”

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Final Show of 2000 (Okinawa, Japan)

      Air Supply showed no signs of slowing down in 2000. They performed over 100 concerts, and many of these involved playing multiple nights at the same venue or multiple shows in one day, which Russell dreaded. The ambitious tour schedule was straining his voice, and on some nights he was unable to reach the highest notes. After performing back-to-back shows at Turning Stone Casino Resort in New York in March, The Syracuse Journal wrote:
When British native Graham Russell took the lead vocals for a song he recently wrote, ‘The Scene,’ he came through crisp and clear. Hitchcock’s voice has not weathered the passing of time with as much grace. At times, his vocals were as gorgeous as the studio versions that made so many Air Supply songs so popular. Then he’d hit a stretch where it sounded as if he wouldn’t know a tune if it walked right up and kissed him on the lips. Most of the crowd loved his work anyway, giving the band several standing ovations.

      To help deal with his vocal concerns, Russell tried Vocal Bio Matrix, a voice development technique designed to free the body from psychosomatic blockages that keep one’s true voice from coming through. This technique was already extremely successful with many artists, including Bette Midler, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Meat Loaf, and teams of vocalists from Geffen Records. According to VBM founder Warren Barigian, there are no scales involved, no right or wrong processes of singing, no lessons involved with his technique. “When you try to think about how to sing,” says Garigian, “you are already shutting yourself down, because you’re putting yourself at neurological speed. Neurological functions shut the voice down.”  


hitchcock 发表于 2013-4-12 15:07
译文: <转载请注明空气补给中文网>      
      1999年开始,Air Supply新专辑进展良好,但是他的发行日期由于Arista决定在北美发行一张合辑而被推迟。乐队不想让两个项目冲突,所以新专辑的歌曲在2000年早些时候才被送到Giant唱片公司。Graham和Russell亲自参与精选集的制作,并且决定把原始的澳大利亚版本的 ‘Lost In Love’ 收录进这张CD里,但是无论乐队还是Arista都没有一份这首歌的数字拷贝。当1999年5月在奥尔良酒店举行的Air Supply歌迷回馈活动时,Graham问了一位歌迷是否能够借一份 ‘Life Support’ 的CD给他们,因为这里面包含有原始版本的 ‘Lost In Love’。

  Air Supply于1999年夏天在美国进行巡演,包括了在拉斯维加斯的多场演出。6月,他们和Rick Springfield一起在俄亥俄的Kettering一起举行了一场演唱会。票价传言售到$250美元。Springfield已经11年没有进行巡演了,他演唱了他80年代早期的经典歌曲,另加了他最新的单曲 ‘It’s Always Something’。Air Supply精选了9首歌来演唱,包括了新歌 ‘Only One Forever’。在Kettering的演出中,包括了鼓手Christopher Pellani,键盘手Jed Moss和贝斯手Cliff Rehrig。
      Graham渴望在1999年在他自己的独立公司A Nice Pear制作别的艺人的专辑,他们发行了一张名叫Wet Cement乐队的CD。专辑在Graham的家庭录音室完成,最近这个录音室改名为Woodland Magic,这张CD由Graham和Mark Williams制作,歌本图画由Jodi Russell设计。Graham合作了歌曲 ‘I Do’,并且在里面弹奏了吉他,还在另一首歌 ‘Curiosity’ 里唱了和声。

  Russell发掘了Wet Cement,这三位来自犹他卡默斯的小孩在他们的车库里录了一盒四首歌的样带,并且发给了Graham。“我们会收到很多发给我们的样带。” Jodi说。“但这盒带子很不同。这个组合很粗糙,但是Graham和我都立刻喜欢上他们了。这些歌曲简直太不可思议了!” Jodi成为了这个乐队的经纪人,他们的CD在8月发行,Wet Cement在盐湖城的阿布拉瓦内尔剧院的一场公益演出时为Air Supply作暖场。“这相当有意思。” 贝斯手Coby Coonradt说。“大约有2000名听众,他们都很投入的看着我们的表演。这对于一支来自卡默斯的车库乐队来说真是太神奇了。” 紧接着在阿布拉瓦内尔剧院的演出之后,Graham和Jodi与华纳音乐世界娱乐接触,他们想要签下这支乐队。在准备欧洲的巡演时,一支乐队首支单曲 ‘Abduction Song’ 的音乐录音带也在拍摄中,一切都看起来Wet Cement即将成为大明星,但是这三位年轻的音乐人决定离开这一切。介于宗教信仰,Wet Cement不同意华纳坚持把 ‘Abduction Song’ 的音乐录影带拍摄有不雅的风格。他们决定退出音乐圈。“他们曾经那么接近成功。” Jodi说。“他们是一群多么有天赋的年轻人。一切都需要一些时间,我们对他们有足够的耐心,但是我们尊重他们的决定。”
      Air Supply在印度的人气增长,还有和BMG Crescendo的合作促成了和印度流行歌手Mehnaz Hoosein一同录制一首合唱歌曲‘You Are’ 。这首歌是由Graham创作,收录进了印度电影Split Wide Open的原声大碟。歌曲由BMG Crescendo,Tropic Films和Adlabs Films共同制作,Split Wide Open在1999年Venice电影节中参选,然而由于电影有性别歧视,后来收到严厉的批评。Graham被电影剧情打动,故事讲一个年轻的妓女为了养活她的妹妹在孟买街头卖水。‘You Are’ 由英语和印度语混合录制,在印度成为了一首热门金曲。

  Mehnaz在1996年发行了她第一张专辑(‘Miss India’) 后已经在印度成为了一名冉冉升起的明星,专辑收录了她的排行榜金曲 ‘Mein Hoon’ 和 ‘Miss India’ 。同年,她赢得了Channel [V] 音乐大奖和Screen-Videocon大奖最佳女歌手。但是她和Air Supply的合唱把Mehnaz推进印度名人圈。“和Air Supply的合作为我开启了一扇新的大门。” Mehnaz说,“他们是80年代的超级巨星,我从来没有想过能和他们一起合唱。但一切就发生在1996年Channel [V] 大奖。那年我获获奖时他们正好登台参加演出。唱片公司 (BMG Crescendo)提出和他们一起合作,但是由于合唱的难度,这首歌花了两年时间来制作。‘You Are’ 是首很美的情歌,为了录制这首歌我飞到洛杉矶。一支录影带在加利福尼亚莫哈韦沙漠拍摄,这真是国际水准。” MV中插入了一些电影片段,录影带于1999年12在印度首播。当时在传奇的干枯的莫哈韦河床上,影片拍摄时气温低于零度。

      作为他们的重制系列之一,Arista在8月23日发行了Air Supply高度参与制作的合辑,‘The Definitive Collection’ 。这张CD包含了18首歌,包含了鲜有听闻的澳大利亚版的 ‘Lost In Love’ 。所有歌曲都经过20-bit数码技术重制。其中含有一本收藏者版的歌本,有Graham和Russell写的每首歌的介绍。“我们从整个Arista的曲目表里挑选出最棒的歌曲。” Arista副总裁Steve Bartels说道,“然后经过重新制作,包含了特别附赠曲目。” Arista在3年前开始发行大师系列专辑,其中许多合辑都相当成功。“回想当初第一张Arista大师系列是1996年发行的Patti Smith专辑。” Arista美国特别市场总监Gary Pacheco说,“这一切之后的目的就是找出能够定义这位艺人的全部好歌。” 116月,BMG和Arista在日本用不同的封面发行了 ‘The Definitive Collection’ 。曲目表和北美发行的版本完全相同。‘The Definitive Collection’ 在世界上许多地方都非常畅销,包括牙买加,Kingston报纸写道:

      这张专辑是全世界Air Supply歌迷必备的。专辑发行在美国的说唱乐,和一些泡泡糖情歌包围中。Graham和Russell给这张CD中最爱的歌曲写了新的评论说明。

      Air Supply再次深入电影圈,1995台湾演唱会中的歌曲 (‘Sweet Dreams’) 片段被收录在一部独立电影Suits中。影片拍摄于1996年,并且在1999年9月26日发行,Suits是一部讲述企业高管和创意团队之间战争的喜剧,两个广告机构争夺一个重要的机会。影片本身之分令人失望,在美国上映两场,仅仅获得$3,676美元的收入。Suits在2009年发行了DVD,经历了一个小小的复苏,演员Steve Carell在其中饰演的一个角色是他最早的角色之一。Russell和Graham被要求在电影中饰演橘色,但是最后决定拒绝。“我们决定不去演,因为看起来有一点点愚蠢。” Graham说。

   12月21日,Giant和BMG在全球发行了一张合辑名叫 ‘The Ultimate Collection’ 。在一些国家名字叫做 ‘The Ultimate Collection...Millennium’ ,并且包装和封面有所不同。这张专辑以时间排序,包含了大多数Air Supply的金曲,因为这是史上第一次由Giant,Arista和BMG合作发行的合辑。由Graham,Russell,Clive Gardiner和Jeff Aldrich共同制作,BMG国际发行了几个不同的版本:一套34首歌的双CD;一张17首歌的单CD附加VCD (包含音乐录影带 ‘Goodbye’, ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘Strong, Strong Wind’ 和 ‘Lost In Love’);一张17首歌的单CD。另外,一份限量版的 (5,000份拷贝)的双CD附加VCD在台湾特别发行。BMG泰国用丝绒盒装外加黄金碟CD和VCD发行了限量版专辑 (100份拷贝) 。所有5个版本都用原始母带进行了数码修复重制,并且用了最新的24位数码科技。‘The Ultimate Collection’ 收录了两首新歌, ‘Longer’ 和 ‘The Scene’。 ‘Longer’ 是1980年Dan Fogelberg最先演唱的,他是Russell最喜欢的歌手之一。“这两首歌 (‘Longer’ 和 ‘The Scene’) 是我们音乐未来的制作方向。” Graham说。

      Air Supply在新加坡国家体育场举行新年千禧演唱会,这是作为亚洲巡演的一次短暂宣传。此时,全世界都在举行和千禧年有关的活动,大约有5到6万人观看了Air Supply的演出。伴随乐队去新加坡演出的是新婚的吉他手 Mark ‘Sparky’ Sweatt。这对夫妻在启程前在维加斯举行婚礼。Russell在新年夜活动时向他的女友Laurie求婚。3个月的2000年3月9日后他们举行了婚礼。

  这次亚洲巡演的名叫Greatest Hits Tour 2000,在新加坡,泰国,菲律宾和马来西亚作停留。为了提高 ‘The Ultimate Collection’ CD的知名度,泰国BMG给演唱会参加者提供了免费的宣传CD ‘Air Supply Live In Bangkok’。这张8轨CD包含了两首Air Supply的歌 (‘All Out Of Love’ 和 ‘Goodbye’),另加BMG旗下的其他艺人。“亚洲的歌迷能在演唱会上听到一些新歌。” Graham说,“像歌曲 ‘Restless’ 和 ‘Why Don’t You Come Over’ 都会在演出前随机选择演唱。而 ‘Goodbye’ 也会演唱,这首歌从来没有在美国的演唱会上演唱过。”

      2000年是Air Supply25周年。作为纪念,BMG 和 Giant 在亚洲宣传 ‘The Ultimate Collection’ 专辑上大费苦心。‘Longer’ 在东南亚部分国家作为宣传单曲发行,电台反响一般。在马来西亚云顶高原的演出前,Air Supply在吉隆坡召开了一个快速的新闻发布会。

  云顶高原的演唱会由云顶娱乐和马来西亚BMG共同策划。Air Supply阵容缩减为5人,并且保持了很多年。舞台布景和最近的演出没有太多的不同,唯一明显的不同就是在乐手背后有一块巨大的屏幕,展现了国际地理杂志风格的自然和空间。乐队以他们的大热门歌曲开场,为了感谢到来的众多观众。Graham介绍了两首新歌,‘The Scene’ 和 ‘Only One Forever’,简单的以一把吉他伴随人声。两首歌收到的掌声不是太多。Graham说 ‘Only One Forever’ 是 “关于我们在经历了年轻岁月后想要找到能够伴随一生的爱人。” 在乐队演唱 ‘Two Less Lonely People In The World’ 和 ‘Every Woman In The World’ 之后观众重新开始激动起来。“我们重新编写了一些我们的老歌。” Graham说,“这些年我们把 ‘Every Woman In The World’ 重新带回演唱会,我们已经好多年没有唱这首歌了。重新演唱真是太有趣了。” 令人惊讶的是,原本是打算在接近演出结束的时候演唱的超级金曲 ‘Making Love Out Of Nothing At All’ 却没能在这天晚上演绎。新海峡时报对演出的评价大多是好的,除了含有一些质疑:

      在声音混音上似乎有一些不完美,我们看到Hitchcock一直在给他的声音团队暗示,导致了一度有一两句忘词。纵观整场演出,云顶的演唱会在人员方面不是很庞大 (没有包含40人的管弦乐团) ,也没有什么高科技和耀眼的灯光和特效。然而,却能给死忠的歌迷他们梦想的夜晚,能够看到两位传奇明星听到他们的声音,这给予了他们充满情感和温暖的回忆。

      Arista Records的母公司BMG,在5月宣布Clive Davis离开总裁的职位。Clive在80年代Air Supply大获成功中起到了很大的作用。Arista甚至在2000年都很成功,在头9个月里获得了4亿2千5百万的销售额。

  5月13日,Russell和Graham在犹他帕克城犹他州小姐选美上举行了一场不插电演出。这场比赛由Jodi Russell和Rosanne Swint导演。Jodi设计了比赛纪念册的封面,这是一项未来能够帮助Air Supply的技能,诸如设计官方网站。

      Russell自己的厂牌A Nice Pear,继续吸引新的有天赋的年轻人。通过Jodi参与的选美行业,一名14岁具有好声音的年轻女孩Shari Short被发掘了。Jodi的合作伙伴Rosanne Swint第一次在华盛顿斯波坎举行的Wreslting世界杯上见到了这个女孩,Shari演唱了三首歌为这个比赛开场:‘The National Anthem’, ‘The Power of a Dream’ 和 ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ 。Rosanne问这个年轻的歌手是否愿意尝试去参加美国爱达荷州青少年选美小姐比赛。“一开始我告诉他我不确定自己是否感兴趣。” Shari说。“然后她告诉我是否愿意为我的音乐作宣传。所以我决定加入,我可以唱歌也能弹吉他。可我不知道居然还有泳装比赛!” 不管怎么样,Shari加入了比赛,尽管是最年轻的竞赛者之一,她最终获得了爱达荷州青少年选美小姐的桂冠。

  当在准备爱达荷州青少年选美小姐比赛的时候,Shari去盐湖城接受Rosanne的训练。“一天晚上我们休息了一下去Sundance吃了晚饭并且见了她的搭档Jodi Russell,” Shari说。“那里有一个年轻人在餐馆里自弹吉他自唱。他一定是注意到我在近距离看他,因为在他休息的时候他问我是不是会弹?我告诉他说是的,他鼓励我上台表演。所以我表演了几首我的原创歌曲。Jodi被惊到了,说,‘噢,天哪,我的丈夫一定很想听听你唱歌。’ 而他的丈夫居然就是Air Supply的Graham Russell。我被吓到了!” Shari承认她一开始并不知道谁是Air Supply。毕竟,她在乐队大红大紫的80年代初之后才出生。Graham相信她妻子的直觉,有些好事情就是会在不起眼的地方被发现的。“我就是来自诺丁汉谢伍德的一个小镇,所以我能想象。” 他说。

      5个星期后,在获得路易斯安那州青少年选美小姐比赛后,Shari飞回盐湖城见了Graham。她去参加了Air Supply在犹他州博览会的演唱会,这才知道他们原来是那么棒的艺人。“这导致了我更多的焦虑,怕他们不喜欢我唱歌。” Shari说。“他们把我带到后台, [Graham] 说 ‘明天下午来吧,让我听听你唱歌。’ 第二天我去了Graham的录音室。我坐下来弹我自己的东西,他非常感兴趣。我原本应该第二天离开的,但是所有人都很投入,我待了一整个星期,并且立刻开始制作一张专辑。” Shari在Russell的Woodland Magic录音室录制了4首她自己的原创歌曲,Graham让Air Supply的成员弹奏了贝斯和鼓,加上她的吉他弹奏进行了混音。其中一首歌名叫 ‘Pull The Trigger’,这是一首Shari写的关于她的一个亲密的朋友自杀的歌。“当我第一次听到这首歌的时候,我想, ‘喔,那真特别。’” Graham说。“这是一个来自年轻人的那么具有内涵的东西。极具敢情。这种感情的深度真是让我触动。当她在现场演唱的时候,人们都开始哭了。对于我来说,这些所有的歌都像是金曲。我已经能够看到不久的将来她能够为Air Supply作暖场演出了。我想她有成为巨星的潜质。”  

     6月初,Air Supply在Woodland Magic录音室制作他们自己的专辑。“新专辑已经接近完成。”  Graham说,“Russell将在这个星期 (6月7日) 来犹他开始演唱部分,之前我们在亚利桑那,俄亥俄和密歇根演出。专辑还没有标题,只有几个想法。都是来自于新专辑中的两首新歌,‘If You Love Me’ 和 ‘Don’t Throw Our Love Away’。像 ‘The Scene’ 和 ‘Only One Forever’ 一样,都会成为演唱会中的常青树。因为这下一张专辑标志了我们已经在音乐界打拼了25个年头,我们仔细考虑想要做一首Beatles风格的歌,因为从小时候他们就一直在影响着我们。”

  贝斯手Cliff Rehrig在2000年6月23日和Air Supply一起作了他最后一场演出。作为乐队成员,他已经待了几乎9个年头了,他是Air Supply历史上待的最长时间的贝斯手了。“我准备和我的家人享受更多时间。” Cliff说。“我会想念乐队里所有的家伙和工作人员的。他们是我共事过的最棒的家伙们。” 在经历了长时间的缺席之后,贝斯手Larry Antonino回到了乐队中。在他离开的日子里,Larry在Tom Hank的1997年的电影《挡不住的奇迹》中的音乐做出了巨大的贡献,并且专辑成为了金唱片。Larry也在电影中扮演了Scott ‘Wolfman’ Pell角色。

      Larry和Air Supply一起在美国之外的地方进行了很长时间的巡演,包括8月份在澳大利亚和新西兰的多场演出。新西兰的巡演时Air Supply第一次访问这个岛国,乐队不确定能够得到多大的反响。“许多的害怕都在演出结束后烟消云散了。" Russell说,“听众一起唱得很大声,他们真的很投入。其中我们演出的一个城市Wellington是迄今为止最大声的。观众尽可能的制造声音!”同时在克莱斯特彻奇演出间隙,Graham遇见了曾经和他们一起在耶稣超级明星中的演员。“我们已经有24年没见到过她了 (Rosa Shiels)。” Russell说,“我们和她一起喝了下午茶,回忆那些旧时光。那晚她来看我们的演唱会。我很自豪地让她来看,就因为过去共事的那些日子。”

      在回到美国进行一个月的巡演之后,9月份乐队花了两个星期时间去墨西哥巡演,完全耗尽。几乎没什么乐队敢于进入这个国家的这些地方进行任何时间长度的演出,但是Air Supply却几乎在没站都能吸引了狂热的人群。“能在世界上不同的舞台上演出这始终是一个很棒的感觉。” Russell说,“能让我们的歌迷爱上我们的音乐。” 世界巡演继续在美国南部和中部演出,包括乐队第一次在乌拉圭演出。在回到美国在家中作了一个短暂的休整之后,11月他们去亚洲进行为期2周的巡演,包括台湾,文莱,印尼,韩国和日本。

  11月16日,Air Supply被邀请去文莱演出。这个小小的文莱达鲁萨兰国,坐落于婆罗洲岛北海岸,在国际会议中心举办第八届亚太经合组织2000首脑会议。国王自己邀请Air Supply来出息演出,乐队是国王自己最喜欢的乐队之一。这是Air Supply第一次访问文莱,他们为亚太经合组织的代表在宏伟的新王朝酒店举行告别派对,镀金的天花板,两个电影院,八条球道的保龄球馆,由杰克尼克劳斯设计高尔夫球场。

      Air Supply2000年的巡演于12月开始时候日本冲绳岛的两场演唱会之后结束。乐队成员各自回到美国的家中享受圣诞假期和新年,之后的1月份他们的新专辑将要完成。乐队在最近的演唱会上演唱了许多新歌,给歌迷们能够体会到新专辑可能的风格走向。“对此我们很兴奋。” Russell说, “我想你很快就会发现这将会成为歌迷的最爱。预计新专辑将会在春天或者夏天发行。”

      Air Supply在2000年完全没有放慢脚步的迹象。他们演出超过100场,许多次都是在同一天同一个场地演出好几场,这让Russell相当害怕。这些雄心勃勃的演唱会日程耗尽了他的嗓子,有些晚上他根本不能达到最高音。3月份当不间断接连在纽约Turning Stone赌场酒店演出后,锡拉丘兹大学学报写道:

      当英国人Graham Russell 主唱他最近写的歌 ‘The Scene’ 的时候,声音很清脆。Hitchcock的嗓音依旧优雅,没有随着时间的流逝而变差。而有时,他的声音和录音室里的一样棒,Air Supply的歌因此而流行。大多数观众无论如何都爱他们,数次向乐队起立致敬。

  为了帮助解决他嗓子的忧虑,Russell尝试了Vocal Bio Matrix方法,这是用来让人体从身心障碍中解脱出来,展现出自己真实声音的一种嗓音改善科技。这项科技已经成功治疗了许多艺人,包括Bette Midler,Tom Petty,Jackson Browne,Bonnie Raitt,Meat Loaf和Geffen Records的团队歌唱家。按照VBM创始人Warren Barigian的说法,这项科技没有局限,没有对与错的歌唱步骤,也没有课程来教授。“当你试着想如何去唱的时候,” Barigian说, “你准备好把你自己完全放松,因为你正在把你自己放在神经速度上。神经功能关闭了你的声音。”
Leign 发表于 2013-4-20 15:41
hitchcock 发表于 2015-2-7 17:57

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