The Air That I Breathe

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"The Air That I Breathe"
Song by Albert Hammond
from the album It Never Rains in Southern California
Released1972
Length3:40
LabelMums Records 31905
Songwriter(s)Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood
Producer(s)Albert Hammond, Don Altfeld
"The Air That I Breathe"
Air that I breathe hollies single.jpg
Single by The Hollies
from the album Hollies
B-side"No More Riders"
ReleasedUK: January 1974
US: March 1974
Recorded15 & 22 November 1973[1]
StudioEMI Studios, London
GenreSoft rock
Length4:13 (album version) 3:45 (single version)
LabelUK: Polydor 2058435
US: Epic 5-11100
Songwriter(s)Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood
Producer(s)Ron Richards and the Hollies
The Hollies singles chronology
"The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam Mcgee"
(1973)
"The Air That I Breathe"
(1974)
"Son of a Rotten Gambler"
(1974)

"The Air That I Breathe" 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.[2]

History[edit]

This song was a major hit for The Hollies in early 1974, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart. In mid 1974, it reached number six in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number three on the Adult Contemporary chart.[3] 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. In an interview, Parsons mentioned that Eric Clapton said the first note of "The Air That I Breathe" had more soul than anything he'd ever heard.[4]

This version of the song featured a string orchestra arrangement, which also featured a horn section.

The 1992 Radiohead song "Creep" uses a similar chord progression and shares some melodic content with the 1972 version of "The Air That I Breathe".[5] As a result, the song's publisher sued Radiohead for copyright infringement and a settlement was reached in which Hammond and Hazlewood were given co-writing credits as well as a portion of the royalties.[6][7][8]

Chart performance[edit]

Simply Red version[edit]

"The Air That I Breathe"
Simply Red-The Air That I Breathe.jpg
Single by Simply Red
from the album Blue
Released1998
Genre
Length4:24
LabelEastWest
Songwriter(s)
Simply Red singles chronology
"Say You Love Me"
(1998)
"The Air That I Breathe"
(1998)
"Ain't That a Lot of Love"
(1999)
Music video
"The Air That I Breathe" on YouTube

British soul band Simply Red released a cover of "The Air That I Breathe" on their 1998 album, Blue.[20] It peaked at number 5 in Scotland, number 6 in the UK and number 17 in Austria. On the Eurochart Hot 100, it reached number 35. A music video was made to accompany the song.

Critical reception[edit]

Gene Armstrong from from Arizona Daily Star described it as "a sexy version".[21] Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "Mick Hucknall and pals preview the new album "Blue" with an inspired, groove-laden interpretation of the Hollies pop evergreen. Hucknall brings his signature soul to the track, vamping with glee while the band pumps a mild, jeep-styled beat that is hard enough for R&B listeners but soft enough to tickle the fancy of AC and triple-A radio listeners." He added, "Popsters will soon be treated to a bevy of remixes by Sean "Puffy" Combs and Stevie J., which should make top 40 punters quickly sit up and take notice."[22] Daily Record commented, "You'll be looking for a breath of fresh air after hearing Mick Hucknall's middle-of-the-road reworking of this song which was originally a hit for The Hollies. The desperately band need a dose of originality."[23]

Track listing[edit]

CD single, Europe (1998)
  1. "The Air That I Breathe" – 4:24
  2. "The Air That I Breathe" (Reprise) – 4:35
  3. "So Many People" (Live) – 5:44
  4. "Never Never Love" (Live) – 4:34
CD single CD1, UK (1998)
  1. "The Air That I Breathe" – 4:24
  2. "Tu Sei Dentro Di Me (Someday In My Life)" – 4:02
  3. "Lives And Loves" (Live) – 3:32
CD single CD2, Europe & UK (1998)
  1. "The Air That I Breathe" (Reprise) – 4:35
  2. "The Air That I Breathe" – 4:24
  3. "Love Has Said Goodbye Again" (Rae & Christian Mix) – 5:14
CD single - Remix promo, US (1998)
  1. "The Air That I Breathe" (Stevie J. Remix - Radio Version) – 4:16
  2. "The Air That I Breathe (Stevie J. Remix - Radio Version W/Intro) – 4:17
  3. "Untitled" – 0:47

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 17
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[24] 35
Germany (GfK Entertainment) 66
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 82
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 6

Other cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "The Air That I Breathe (original) - Albert Hammond 1972.wmv". YouTube. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 117.
  4. ^ "CLASSIC TRACKS: The Hollies 'The Air That I Breathe'". Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  5. ^ English, Tim (2007). Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll, p. 149. ISBN 9781583480236.
  6. ^ Wardle, Ben. "Get off Coldplay's case – similar songs can co-exist peacefully". The Guardian (London). 12 May 2009. Retrieved on 22 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "The Hollies – The Air That I Breathe | The story behind the song | Top 2000 a gogo". Youtube. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 20 July 1974. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Air That I Breathe". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  13. ^ "SA Charts 1965 - 1989". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 111.
  15. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1974" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1972". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1974". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Blue - Simply Red | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  21. ^ Armstrong, Gene (13 June 1998). "Tracks". p. D. Arizona Daily Star.
  22. ^ Flick, Larry (25 April 1998). "Reviews & Previews: Singles" (PDF). Billboard. p. 69. Retrieved 18 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Chart Slot". Daily Record. 21 August 1998. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. 29 August 1998. p. 13. Retrieved 22 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ "In My Life – Official Cilla Black Website". Cillablack.com. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Drag - k.d. lang | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  27. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
  28. ^ "The Mavericks [2003] - The Mavericks | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Star Spangled Springer - Phil Everly | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  30. ^ "Music... The Air That I Breathe - Cliff Richard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Have You Never Been Mellow - Olivia Newton-John | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.

External links[edit]