In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins (Single)

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In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins (Single)

Single Track from Phil Collins - Genre: Pop - Release Year: 1997

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Review of "In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins (Single)"

published 20/09/2010 | HarryKgh
Member since : 14/12/2008
Reviews : 44
Members who trust : 40
About me :
Woe to you, Oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short.
Pro I could just live in the first burst of drums.
Cons You are guaranteed to look like a demented monkey during the drum section as you try to keep up.
very helpful
Quality of Lyrics/Music
How does it compare to the artist's other releases?

"DO-Dum, DO-Dum, DO-Dum"

Phil on the drums

Phil on the drums

Love him or hate him there is just no denying that Phil came up with a winner of a first single with ”In the Air Tonight.” Although at the time of its release the song never did make it to the number one spot either here in the UK or Stateside. The song has become a great part of popular culture today, as that infamous drum section that kicks in halfway through the song can get even the most conservative amongst flailing our arms around like some demented monkey trying to air drum in time to the beat.

This song is really a combination of two parts brought together with a true mastery that only Phil could produce. Beginning with just a simple drum machine beat gently running interjected by the odd occasional keyboard and guitar note playing, Phil’s calm, yet strikingly powerful lyrics come brushing past us with no real sense of urgency. Once we hit that half way mark of the song though, all musical hell breaks loose with that famous do-dum, do-dum, do-dum rolling in, and elevating the song to another level.

Though the studio version is the one to own, this is one of those examples of a song where the live performance far out strips the original. There are, in fact, two very different versions of this song live, the first being the rather sombre and mellow version which Phil first used in his performance on The Secret Policeman’s Ball. Though this version lacks the powerful drumming section towards the end, the overall feel of the track has a much more personal and heartfelt mood to it. This was also the version that he played during the Live-Aid concert all those many moons ago, and it really played out well in those surroundings.

The second and best version of this song live, is the take with Phil’s genius drumming in full flow, the moment when Phil has finished walking over to his kit and takes the throne behind his drums is a musical moment that personally I could have played over and over again to me, it truly is a spine-chilling four seconds of sound.

Although Phil has not really got the greatest voice in the world, his lyrical genius is absolutely brought to the front in this song and shows just how good a writer as well as drummer he is. Admittedly this isn’t my absolute favourite of Phil’s solo works, but without a doubt this song has a very real life all of its own, and there is so much passion contained within its music and lyrics that it seems to be literally bursting at the seams.

If you haven’t ever heard this song, or just haven’t had your daily Phil fix yet, then you can check out this version of “In the Air Tonight” being performed live:

Just get ready for that drum roll, and don’t worry I’m pretending to play the drums as well when I hear it. Oh yeah and look out for Gandalf playing bass during the song too.

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Comments on this review

  • clocktower published 19/04/2011
    Total agreement there. Well reviewed and thanks for the link.
  • kevin121 published 19/04/2011
    I think this is one of my favourite of Phil's.
  • debmercury published 05/02/2011
    Well reviewed :o) x
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Product Information : In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins (Single)

Manufacturer's product description

Single Track from Phil Collins - Genre: Pop - Release Year: 1997

Product Details

Artist(s): Phil Collins

Title: In the Air Tonight

Release Date: 31/12/1997

Genre: Pop

Rights: 1998 The copyright in this compilation is owned by Virgin Records Ltd

Release Year: 1997


Listed on Ciao since: 13/08/2010