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Just Like A Breath Of Fresh Air Supply

Most people probably remember the Australian group Air Supply for its 1979 hits “All Out of Love” and “Here I Am.” What they most likely don’t know is that some 16 years later, Air Supply remains in big demand throughout the world.

In this country, however, Air Supply never really retained the fame it once held in 1979 when the group’s album “Lost in Love” sold millions of copies here and boasted several number-one hits.

However, that’s not to say Air Supply, which plays the Opera House tonight, is still riding on the reputation of those early hits.

The group, consisting of founding singers Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, isn’t. Instead, Air Supply has continued to write new, groundbreaking albums and tour the world.

In fact, band has enjoyed a tremendously successful and prosperous career just about everywhere outside the U.S., churning out hits and platinum albums from China to Latin America.

“We actually pride ourselves in that fact,” said Hitchcock in a phone interview earlier this week. “The market for us in the U.S. is very limited.”

Despite the language barrier, the group’s last two albums “The Earth Is …” and “The Vanishing Race” have sold well over two million copies each in Latin America.

The band also led a successful tour of Latin America.

Most recently, Air Supply’s music is booming in China, where the band will tour for the first time beginning in March.

Air Supply formed in Australia nearly 20 years ago, after the duo Russell and Hitchcock met during a Melbourne, Australia production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in which both played apostles.

Demand in the U.S. for the band grew after a successful tour opening for Rod Stewart in 1977.

Now, Air Supply is touring the West Coast. And the group is doing it in a rather minimalist fashion, as a three-piece band as opposed to the full-band show they put on at Silver Mountain in August.

“The show is very acoustic,” said Hitchcock. “We’ve found a great song is a great song and lends itself to a lot of different surroundings, musically.

“We’ve done four or five shows so far, and the people who have seen us have all been complimentary.”

Concert-goers can expect Air Supply to break out many of the old hits as well as material from its last couple of albums. The band will even introduce several new songs from its forthcoming album “News From Nowhere,” due out in March.

“We’ll be playing most of the things people are familiar with,” Hitchcock told. “Hopefully, they’ll enjoy the stuff we’re going to play from the new record.”

Hitchcock is excited about “News From Nowhere.”

“It’s a great-sounding album,” he said. But, “it’s the kind of thing that needs to be listened to actively. It’s quite an intense album for us.”

On “News from Nowhere,” the group recorded several of the songs with acoustical arrangements and a 40-piece string orchestra.

xxxx Air Supply Location and time: Opera House, tonight, 8 Tickets: $22.50 and $19.50