The Air That I Breathe

"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]

"The Air That I Breathe"
Song by Albert Hammond
from the album It Never Rains in Southern California
LabelMums Records 31905
Songwriter(s)Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood
Producer(s)Albert Hammond, Don Altfeld
"The Air That I Breathe"
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"
"The Air That I Breathe"
"Son of a Rotten Gambler"


This song was a major hit for The Hollies in early 1974, reaching number two in the United Kingdom. In the summer of 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 noted that Eric Clapton once said that the first note of "The Air That I Breathe" had more soul than anything he'd ever heard.[4]

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

Notable cover versions


  2. "The Air That I Breathe (original) - Albert Hammond 1972.wmv". YouTube. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 117.
  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 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-06-19.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. Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  10. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1974-07-20. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  11. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Air That I Breathe". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  12. "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  13. Retrieved 17 January 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 111.
  15. "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  16. "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1974" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  17. "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1972". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  18. "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2015-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
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