Making Love Out of Nothing at All
"Making Love Out of Nothing At All" is a power ballad written and composed by Jim Steinman and first released by Australian soft rock band Air Supply for their 1983 compilation album Greatest Hits. It reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Air Supply version
|"Making Love Out of Nothing At All"|
|Single by Air Supply|
|from the album Greatest Hits|
|Genre||Rock, soft rock|
|Length||5:43 (Album version)
4:29 (Single version)
5:38 (Video version)
|Air Supply singles chronology|
History of recording
The song is a reworking of the main title theme from the 1980 film A Small Circle of Friends, for which Jim Steinman wrote the score. It was first recorded by Air Supply, giving them a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. for three weeks. It was held off from the top spot by another Steinman production, Bonnie Tyler's recording of "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
The song was subsequently released as a new track from their 1983 greatest hits album. The B-side of the single was "Late Again". They have included the song on their numerous greatest hits and live albums, and recorded an acoustic version for their 2005 album The Singer and the Song.
Steinman offered the song, along with "Total Eclipse of the Heart", to Meat Loaf for his Midnight at the Lost and Found album; however, Meat Loaf's record company refused to pay Steinman for the material so Meat Loaf ended up writing compositions for the album himself. Steinman's songs were then offered to Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply.
By 1983, Air Supply had changed much of its classic musician line-up, both in the recording studio and on tour. But Steinman, known for his lavish, rock-opera-ish type productions, used Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band members Roy Bittan on keyboards and Max Weinberg on drums, to musically underscore the recording with like energies. Glam-rock icon of the 1970s Rick Derringer supplied the electric guitar solo that made the sound of "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" stand so drastically apart from most other Air Supply productions.
Music and lyrics
The song opens with a few bars of the melody played on piano. The first part of the song lists several things that the vocalist knows how to do, followed by something that they do not. The structure is similar to Steinman's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", where the chorus consists of things that the vocalist would and then would not do.
- And I know just where to touch you
- And I know just what to prove
- I know when to pull you closer
- And I know when to let you loose
Like the final lines of each chorus in "Anything for Love", the end of "Making Love" contrasts with the previous stating what he doesn't know how to do. The final part of the verse laments:
- But I don't know how to leave you
- And I'll never let you fall
- And I don't know how you do it
- Making love out of nothing at all
The title is repeated six times, with background vocals supplying the "making love" part, and the lead vocalist singing the last part of the line.
Strong drumbeats begin the next section of the song, which concentrates upon the attributes of its subject:
- Every time I see you all the rays of the sun
- Are streaming through the waves in your hair
- And every star in the sky is taking aim at your eyes like a spotlight
There is an instrumental interlude, dominated by the melody of the title line played by piano. The final verse returns to the structure of the first. The original Air Supply version had an American football analogy, with "I can make the runner stumble, I can make the final block; And I can make every tackle at the sound of the whistle, I can make all the stadiums rock."
The video for the Air Supply version begins with a couple driving to an airport. The male singer is leaving for "one more tour" and asks the woman to join him, as he "can give you anything". The remainder of the video intersperses the singer on stage with a microphone with various scenes of the relationship. Graham and Russell, who comprise Air Supply, leave their dressing room for the stage. As they sing with the band, the female (Jodi Russell) is shown packing and leaving their home, placing their photograph face down on the table in the process. Nevertheless, she changes her mind and does a u-turn on the freeway, and now drives to the airport. She meets him at the side of the stage near the end of the song and they embrace.
- Graham Russell: So, won't you reconsider?
- Girlfriend: So, won't you?
- Graham Russell: Come with me, I can give you anything.
- Girlfriend: I've been there, all I want is you.
- Graham Russell: But it's just one more tour, then I'll be back.
- Girlfriend: But I won't...I can't...
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||2|
|UK Singles Chart||80|
|South African Singles Chart||5|
Bonnie Tyler version
|"Making Love (Out of Nothing At All)"|
|Single by Bonnie Tyler|
|from the album Free Spirit|
The song was later covered by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler on her album Free Spirit. It opens with a word-less choral voice, before the melody begins, played on piano. Allmusic call this version "fantastic, clocking in at nearly eight minutes, and seems perfectly suited for her voice. [Air Supply's] version was already great, but hers is awesome." It was produced by Steinman, with Steven Rinkoff as co-producer, at The Hit Factory, New York City. Ma-Elsie Hopkins provided some vocals.
These lines were changed for the Tyler version, and also for the subsequent Karine Hannah version, as well:
- I can make you find your power
- I can make you lose your fear
- I can make your body do some very magical things
- I'll make your inhibitions all disappear
|Belgian Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Singles Chart||17|
|UK Singles Chart||45|
Other cover versions
- Judika and Regina Ivanova performed duet version of the song during big 4 round of Indonesian Idol 2012.
- In 1983 CKBE-FM David Tyler.
- American band Funland covered the song on their 1993 EP Sweetness under the name "Obligatory Cover (For the Kids)".
- Karine Hannah recorded a demo of the song when she was working with Steinman on an album. The project fell through, but her version has been leaked onto the internet.
- The song was covered by singer Frankee under the name Nikki A. in 2003 for Louie Devito's Dance Divas, Volume One.
- An electronica pop version was recorded by the band Sexton Blake on their 2007 album Plays the Hits.
- Filipina actress Zsa Zsa Padilla covered the song in 2002.
- The Zoo covered it during live performances with Arnel Pineda.
- Canadian singer Matt Pettrin covered the song with Bonnie Tyler.
- In 2005, Carrie Underwood performed the song during the fourth season of American Idol.
- Korean rock singer Kim Kyung Ho performed the song at a concert broadcast by SBS.
- Nicky Lee of Aziatix covered this song for a Taiwan Movie: Monga in 2010 as the theme song. It was also released in his Chinese albumn 好玖.
- Taiwanese singer Lin Zhi Xuan (Terry Lin) performed the song on Round 9, Season 1 of the Chinese singing competition program— I Am a Singer in 2013.
In other media
Air Supply's version of the song is also featured in the 2005 film Mr. and Mrs. Smith during the car chase/gunfight scene, and is also featured on the film's soundtrack album. It was also used in the films Click and Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.
In 1983, Air Supply performed the song on stage, in "lip-sync" form with full back-up band for the popular early 1980s television program Solid Gold. Absent were many of the musicians that producer Jim Steinman used to record the original tracks. However, original Air Supply members Frank Esler-Smith on keys & Ralph Cooper on drums participated, and former Babys lead guitarist Wally Stocker, "synced" so well, studio player Rick Derringer's guitar solo, without the slightest of glitch.
The song was used for a Wendy's commercial, where a "burger" is "singing" a part of the song, part of a promo being used in conjunction with online music service Rhapsody. The song was also used in the episode "Chuck Versus the Predator" of the American TV series Chuck.
- "A SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS Main Title Theme".
- "Special Sub-Topic: 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All'". FunTrivia.com. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- "Air Supply: The Singer And The Song". CD Baby. Retrieved 2006-10-22.
- Adams, Cameron (2006-10-26). "Meat Loaf's a Hell raiser". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
- "Bonnie Tyler: Free Spirit". Allmusic. Retrieved 2006-10-22.
- Free Spirit (booklet). East West Records. 1995. 0630-12108-2.
- "American Idol: Carrie Underwood". American Idol. Retrieved 2007-05-26.