The Air That I Breathe

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Not to be confused with the film The Air I Breathe.
"The Air That I Breathe"
Song by Albert Hammond from the album It Never Rains in Southern California
Released 1972
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:40
Label Mums Records 31905
Writer Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood
Producer Albert Hammond, Don Altfeld
"The Air That I Breathe"
Single by The Hollies
from the album Hollies
B-side "No More Riders"
Released UK: January 1974
US: March 1974
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:13
Label UK: Polydor 2058435
US: Epic 5-11100
Producer(s) Ron Richards and the Hollies
Certification Gold (RIAA)
The Hollies singles chronology
"The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam Mcgee"
"The Air That I Breathe"
"Son of a Rotten Gambler"

"The Air That I Breathe" (Spanish title: "Necesito poder respirar") is a ballad written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, initially recorded by Albert Hammond on his 1972 album It Never Rains in Southern California.[1]


This song was a major hit for The Hollies in early 1974, reaching number two in the U.K.. In the summer of 1974, the song reached number six in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number three on the Adult Contemporary chart.[2] In Canada, the song peaked at number five on the RPM Magazine charts. The audio engineering for "The Air That I Breathe" was done by Alan Parsons.

The 1992 Radiohead song "Creep" uses a similar chord progression as "The Air That I Breathe".[3] As a result, Hammond and Hazlewood sued Radiohead for plagiarism and won.[4][5]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
Australia [6] 2
Austria 3
Canada (RPM100 Singles) 5
Germany 4
Netherlands (Gfk Top 100 Singles) 1
New Zealand 1
UK 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Rank
Australia [7] 26
Canada 69
UK [8] 20
U.S. Billboard [9] 50
U.S. Cash Box [10] 66

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ The Air That I Breathe (original version)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 117. 
  3. ^ English, Tim (2007). Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll, p.149. ISBN 9781583480236.
  4. ^ a b Wardle, Ben. "Get off Coldplay's case – similar songs can co-exist peacefully". The Guardian (London). 12 May 2009. Retrieved on 22 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Song info: 'Creep'",
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8. 

External links[edit]