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The ultimate tribute to George Young

John Paul Young’s Love Is In The Air is officially an icon.
John Paul Young’s Love Is In The Air is officially an icon.

IT has been a dancefloor filler for 40 years and Love Is In The Air is guaranteed to remain a disco-ball beacon for generations to come as one of the Sounds Of Australia.

The annual list of 10 recordings to be inducted into the National Film and Sound Archive hall of fame in 2017 includes the Depression-era pop song Our Don Bradman by Len Maurice, the enduring Louie The Fly Mortein jingle by legendary author Bryce Courtenay and recorded by Kingswood Country actor Ross Higgins and the Play School theme.


Contemporary pop hits Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers and the INXS breakthrough hit Don't Change also made the cut.

John Paul Young said the irony of Australia's love affair with Love Is In The Air is that it was written and recorded to impress the German market where he had hit the charts with previous single Standing In The Rain.

He knew the second he recorded the song with his longtime producers Harry Vanda and George Young, whose death was confirmed yesterday, that it was a hit.

 

Love Is In The Air turns 40 this year. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Love Is In The Air turns 40 this year. Picture: Dylan Robinson

"I remember as a kid when the Beatles came out with a new release that would make me smile, I knew they would be a hit," he said.

"I felt the same about Love Is In The Air. It had the beats behind it that were working on records then, that disco vibe."

It enjoyed another ascent up the charts, again peaking at No.3, in 1992 thanks to the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann's directorial debut Strictly Ballroom.

While he has sung it live thousands and thousands of times since it was released in Germany in late 1977 and then in April 1978 in Australia, one performance had JPY terrified.


He fluffed the song during a rehearsal for the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony in 2000 and was terrified he would repeat the stumble during the big event.

"That was scary; it was nine minutes long and I got my Ps and Qs mixed up in rehearsals with someone casually whispering in my ear 'Four billion people will be watching on TV," he said.

 

Kasey Chambers’s raw honesty in Not Pretty Enough resonates with young women today. Picture: Justin Lloyd.
Kasey Chambers’s raw honesty in Not Pretty Enough resonates with young women today. Picture: Justin Lloyd.

Kasey Chambers said she was overwhelmed her first No. 1 song Not Pretty Enough had been inducted to the Sounds Of Australia list which is celebrating its 10th year.

She said she is approached after every gig by a woman who thanks Chambers for writing the song which was inspired by the country superstar's feeling of alienation as she struggled to find a home for her heartfelt songs as she launched her solo career.


It became a No. 1 pop hit in 2001 and widely played on commercial radio despite it being completely alien to everything else on the airwaves of that time, knocking off Shakira's Whenever Wherever from the top of the charts.

"I can remember sitting down to write that song, feeling like I didn't fit, that I was a bit of an outcast," Chambers said

There’s a bear in there! The unforgettable Play School theme is a Sound of Australia. Picture: Supplied.
There’s a bear in there! The unforgettable Play School theme is a Sound of Australia. Picture: Supplied.

"I felt not pretty enough sometimes, that I said the wrong things, that I laughed too much or not enough and when I put that into a song, there is no way I could imagine the impact it would have on other people who felt the same way.

"I didn't even know if anyone would hear it and even now, young girls will come up to me at gigs and say that song changed their life.

"When I hear that, I am reminded of the power of music."

 

INXS made the Sounds Of Australia list with Don’t Change. Picture: Supplied.
INXS made the Sounds Of Australia list with Don’t Change. Picture: Supplied.

 

Chambers revealed that Not Pretty Enough gave her the courage to always be honest in her music.

"I play that song every night at every gig and never go out on stage thinking 'This one again!', she said.

"It is honestly what I still feel some days when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror and ask 'Am I pretty enough?'

"I don't care so much about the answer anymore because I've got s ... to do and there is something beautiful about knowing that no matter what, being real with yourself connects with other people."

 

The Sounds Of Australia 2017

Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer - Marie Narelle - 1910

Our Don Bradman - Len Maurice - 1930

Australia's Amateur Hour - AWA - 1940-1958

Louie the Fly Mortein Advertisement - Ross Higgins - 1957

I Remember You - Frank Ifield - 1962

Play School Theme (There's a Bear in There) - Various Performers - 1966

Love Is In The Air - John Paul Young - 1977

Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra) - Kuckles - 1981

Don't Change - INXS - 1982

Not Pretty Enough - Kasey Chambers - 2001

Topics:  ac/dc george young love is in the air music


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