Endless Loop: The Air that I Breathe

holliesHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“The Air that I Breathe” by The Hollies

Some circles may remember The Hollies’ 1974 hit “The Air that I Breathe” solely for its use in an early 90’s television commercial for house paint (I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid).  Some might remember it for being the reason that Radiohead now pay royalties to songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood due to the song’s similarities to “Creep.”  For some reason I remember it as background music to growing up in west Texas in the 1980’s.  And I’m not sure why.

There’s a part of me that really wants to believe that my dad had a Hollies album, Hollies from whence the song appeared or a greatest hits compilation or something like that.  And there’s another part of me that really wants to believe that said album was an 8-Track tape.

Naturally, I have no evidence to support these beliefs.

I suppose it’s certainly possible that in my dad’s music collection somewhere was a Hollies 8-Track.  He had plenty of them in the mix with his vinyl and assorted cassette tapes (if memory serves, he may have even had a reel-to-reel in there somewhere), but the band doesn’t really fit into his wheelhouse.  There were a handful of rock n’ roll records in my dad’s arsenal, but at his heart, he was a jazz and bluegrass kind of guy.  And after he passed away a few years ago, my mom, my siblings, and I divvied up what we wanted to keep of the collection, and the rest was lost to time.  I don’t recall ever seeing the mythical Hollies 8-Track in the bunch.

But “The Air that I Breathe” is prevalent in my memory of the time.  Maybe it’s manufactured, or maybe I’m misremembering things, or maybe I heard it somewhere else that my mind can’t place.  Our lazy brains can be notorious for just making shit up so that random things make some sort of coherent sense in our psyches.  Why a 1970’s soft rock hit wormed its way into mine is beyond me.

Good jam though.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

4 Responses to Endless Loop: The Air that I Breathe
  1. sonny vitkauskas Reply

    “Long Cool Woman In The Red Dress” was another Hollies song from that period that was a huge hit for them much like Manford Mans Earth Bands version of “Blinded by the Light ” the two bands kind of had the same story. They had the early British Invasion hits, splintered up, regrouped in the 70s and had had huge hits but general public never knowing it was the same band more or less. Those old groups had multiple talents within the group so if they lost a member they still had the fairy dust in later incarnations

  2. sonny vitkauskas Reply

    Did not know about the lawsuit with Radiohead the melody is very familiar I never put it together. There are like a thousand cases of that like the one about The band Sprit and the “Stairway to Heaven ” lawsuit against Led Zeppelin.

  3. sonny vitkauskas Reply

    The Hollies were an amazing band that had two incarnations of sorts much like Manford Man did. Although I am am more partial to Hollies earlier output this song is great and pure AM gold for sure It has a Big Star meets Badfinger vibe to it. Cool piece man! You’re not heavy you are my brother

    • Tommy Reply

      I feel the same way about the band’s earlier work.

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