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The knighted one-hit wonder!


Looking into the career of John Paul Young OAM is fascinating as it really proves that for an artist or band, having a hit song is everything. 

Sure, you can call him a one-hit wonder, but I’m sure he’d rather take that than no hit! This all becomes evident when you look at his situation before and after Love Is In The Air

Before, he released three albums in 1975, 76, and 77. None of these charted high or became big, although they did, I suppose, lay the groundwork.

A few tunes did reasonably well in South Africa (Yesterday’s Hero and I Hate The Music went to #1). The same two songs plus The Love Game and I Wanna Do It With You got into the top 10 in his native Australia. Standing in the Rain went to #4 in Germany and #3 in Holland.

Mr. Young also made several appearances on Countdown during this time, an Australian version of Top Of The Pops.

All this meant he was in the public consciousness but nobody really cared, or shall I say this was not enough to get knighted by the Queen!

Anyway, at this point, he’s looking at what he’s got, and one lead he and his producers, songwriters, manager, and whoever else had a say see as an opportunity is the single in Germany reaching #4. Germany is a decent market and they’re thinking, let’s write something for this market.

What they come up with for the Germans is Love Is In The Air but instead of being a follow-up single capitalizing on the German market, this tune reached the top 10 in 13 countries, and #1 in the US Adult Contemporary chart!

This literally changed John Paul Young’s life. Without it, nobody knows about him, there’s no knighthood from the Queen, no Olympic performance in 2000, no invites to charity balls.

After Love Is In The Air, nothing he releases gets into the chart, he actually does worse after it! Fascinating stuff as this is when John Paul Young’s career takes off, he becomes world famous.

Imagine what he, his songwriters, and producers would give up to understand what makes a hit so they could do it again. Perhaps you can work it out if you study the chords, lyrics, and arrangement of Love Is In The Air.

Perhaps it’s an Australian curse, I’m thinking of other Australian one-hit wonders Jet (Are You Gonna Be My Girl) and Men At Work (Down Under).

John Paul Young was knighted (OAM, Order Of Australia) in 2012 for services to the performing arts, they might as well have said; for singing Love Is In The Air!


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Love Is In The Air

You can learn how to play Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

C | C C6 | Fmaj7 | Fmaj7 |
Love is in the air, everywhere I look around…


John Paul Young on the web

Listen to John Paul Young on Spotify