[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Phil Collins — In the Air Tonight
Album: Face Value
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1171









Released: 1981
Length: 5:03
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight?
Oh Lord, oh Lord

Well, if you told me you were drowning
I would not lend a hand
I've seen your face before, my friend
But I don't know if you know who I am

Well, I was there and I saw what you did
I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you've been
It's all been a pack of lies

And I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord, oh Lord

Well, I remember
I remember, don't worry
How could I ever forget?
It's the first time, the last time we ever met
But I know the reason why you keep this silence up
No, you don't fool me
The hurt doesn't show, but the pain still grows
It's no stranger to you and me

I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight
Oh Lord, oh Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord

I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight
Oh Lord
Oh Lord, oh Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight
Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord, Lord
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life
Oh Lord, oh Lord
Comments (204)add comment
Recently heard this kind of sweet This American Life story with Phil Collins coaching a non-musician in writing a song. 
WTF?
It's like this guy was born old. Phil Grandpa Collins
Sucko-Barfo
I could talk about that snare alone for like 15 minutes
 KevinM wrote:

Their react to the ‘drum riff’ is so fake.
 

You were the kid who told everyone else there was no Santa Claus, weren't you?
 admascott wrote:
Risky Business - Rebecca De Mornay and that other guy!
 

No no, Miami Vice... Crockett driving the Ferrari clone through Miami at night on his way to pick up Tubbs
Risky Business - Rebecca De Mornay and that other guy!
 eyeball wrote: 
Their react to the ‘drum riff’ is so fake.
 tinypriest wrote:
Public Service Announcement: Please pay for RP. Send them $5 a month or MORE. I give and we should all do so. Nothing stays free. Support Radio Paradise. (I'm not paid to say this, just a fan, who pays for you to enjoy).
 
I don't think you pay for me to enjoy anything; certainly not RP.
Public Service Announcement: Please pay for RP. Send them $5 a month or MORE. I give and we should all do so. Nothing stays free. Support Radio Paradise. (I'm not paid to say this, just a fan, who pays for you to enjoy).
Has to be the song with the most "Air Drums" out there...
Now that I am not so completely oversaturated and sick of this song, I can enjoy it again. There's a reason it was a huge hit. 
I remember this from an episode of Magnum PI. It was a darker moment in the show, where Thomas was hunting someone with vengeance. With intent to kill.
 913chick wrote:
For all of you who don,t know why he wrote the song,you should research it. It tells a story about when he was in school and when he finally went back after 20 years for a class reunion......and a murder he witnessed.
 
Yup, interesting read about an enduring urban legend:
Wikipedia: In the Air Tonight - Urban Legend

"It's so frustrating, 'cause this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know?"

— Phil Collins
There's a great Youtube video of this live. Phil is walking round with a radio mic for the first half, then sits down at precisely the moment he needs to start the drumming... Just fekin awesome showmanship that gives me goosebumps!!!
 913chick wrote:
For all of you who don,t know why he wrote the song,you should research it. It tells a story about when he was in school and when he finally went back after 20 years for a class reunion......and a murder he witnessed.
 
Phil denies this story and says it is an urban legend.
 killahfunkadelic wrote:
Now, because of our magical interwebs, I will forever see this in my head whenever this song plays:

Deer In The Air Tonight
 
Once seen, can't be unseen. Thanks for that.
Got an oddly soft spot for this. Might be Live Aid related. Whatever the reason though... DRUMS!
Now, because of our magical interwebs, I will forever see this in my head whenever this song plays:

Deer In The Air Tonight
 913chick wrote:
For all of you who don,t know why he wrote the song,you should research it. It tells a story about when he was in school and when he finally went back after 20 years for a class reunion......and a murder he witnessed.
 

I just watched Collins on the Jimmy Fallon show, and he says the song is expressing his anger after his divorce (and it is not about witnessing a murder).



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLRy_RkoTKA
This song always makes me feel something in the air....
Someone below quoted a (fictional) urban legend about this song.
In counterpoint I offer this, quoting Phil Collins in Wikipedia:

"I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going
through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's
obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a
separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these
stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of
someone come up to me and say, "Did you really see someone drowning?" I
said, "No, wrong". And then every time I go back to America the story
gets "Chinese whispers;" it gets more and more elaborate.
It's so frustrating, 'cause this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know?"
 mardisoninnc wrote:
In my mind, this song will always be associated with a dramatic montage from the Miami Vice TV series in the 1980s.
 
{#Yes}
gotta give this one an 8 just for the iconic drum solo 
iI wish knew how to imbed a 5 second https://youtu.be/HH9MQmMtilU
Used to love seeing Phil performing this on Top of the Pops (relevance probably lost on anyone under 50 and non-UK resident). It was years until I learned about the relevance of the tin of paint...
Phil Collins:  One of the heaviest hands in Rock and Roll.

 

In my mind, this song will always be associated with a dramatic montage from the Miami Vice TV series in the 1980s.

 ziggytrix wrote:
This song is inextricably linked to that Cadbury's Gorilla ad in my brain. When an ad sticks with you for a decade, you know they caught lightning in a bottle (even though I didn't exactly remember it was for Cadbury until after I googled up this article).
 
I always imagine Mike Tyson belting out the air drums in a Vegas suite, myself.
This song is inextricably linked to that Cadbury's Gorilla ad in my brain. When an ad sticks with you for a decade, you know they caught lightning in a bottle (even though I didn't exactly remember it was for Cadbury until after I googled up this article).
Awful then, awful now.
All Phil Radio, All Phil Day...

https://youtu.be/hcl8lfuwCik

"Once more 'round the toms, Phil!"
This song ushered in a whole new era for the drum sound on records.

I'm not a big Phil Collins fan, but I always turn this one up.  Thanks RP!

 

Like you said, when he was good, he was really good!


 petersteward wrote:
Please do not play Phil Collins 
 

 
Ditto. I always think I've somehow mistakenly tuned to some commercial pop schlock station. I can't PSD on Sonos. Only choice is to tune away.
 913chick wrote:
For all of you who don,t know why he wrote the song,you should research it. It tells a story about when he was in school and when he finally went back after 20 years for a class reunion......and a murder he witnessed.

 
Or not.
"When he was good, he was very, very good"

Well said, Bill
For all of you who don,t know why he wrote the song,you should research it. It tells a story about when he was in school and when he finally went back after 20 years for a class reunion......and a murder he witnessed.
Please do not play Phil Collins 
 
{#Drummer}
way overplayed, but I still like the "kick" when the drums come in for the rocking
 hayduke2 wrote:
barf

 
ditto
Phil needs to go to the Alamo and stay there 
The transition period for Phil, how very unfortunate...
 Anything by brand x...lamb lies down... In the air tonight?
barf
 blackaddermrbean wrote:
I find it Interesting that prior to this play, that it was the first time in six years that this song was played.
Same for The Doors "Love Her Madly" which hadn't been in the setlist for three years until its airplay today.
What made you choose to pull them off the shelf Bill?
 
It was just something in the air, tonight.  ; )
I find it Interesting that prior to this play, that it was the first time in six years that this song was played.
Same for The Doors "Love Her Madly" which hadn't been in the setlist for three years until its airplay today.
What made you choose to pull them off the shelf Bill?

 
 stunix wrote:
Did he get popular and sell out, or just get older.

 
Peter Gabriel left the band and Phil took over which lead to Genesis becoming a pop band and no longer a progressive rock band.
This entire song sounds like an intro to some gorgeous extended piece that I would love to hear. 
But I love it anyway, happily falling into that rollicking drum solo:
!!{#Drummer}!!
Did he get popular and sell out, or just get older.   I think Gilmour, Bowie, Plant, Anderson et al, all got softer in their old age.     The Frog Chorus isnt exactly Live and Let Die styling is it.   Lets not slag them off for surviving.
Michael Jackson was the self proclaimed king of pop, Phil is the real king of pop!
You can knock the guy all day, but this is great to my ears.
Because the earlier links to this seem to be dead:
 

 
 
And because, well, just because:

 
 
More here. Don't miss the gorilla's audition.
Bold choice Bill, but I still like - nay love! - this song.

If only I could get the thought out of my head, which popped in a few years ago, that because of the chorus "I can feel it coming in the air tonight", this song is really about...

masturbation.

There. Put that on a separate line so you folks couldn't miss it.

Put *that* with your bag of limes and the gorilla, and see if you ever hear this song the same again :)

This starts out very good.  But then Phil's undies just get tighter and tighter and tighter. . . .
Something about this song just makes me want to ride public transportation...
 peter_james_bond wrote:

{#Rolleyes} So The Beatles also had no talent?
 
It's if...then, NOT: if and only if, Einstein...

 newwavegurly wrote:
I always get a kick out of reading the song comments for a more "commercially successful" song like this on RP.
 
Let's get a grip, folks. YES, we could hear this song on commercial radio (if we were commercial radio listeners... ahem), but Bill tossing a song like this into the mix on any given day is one of the things that makes RP so awesome. For example, we just heard "Andare" by Ludovico Einaudi then "My Little Basquiat" by Cowboy Junkies, this track, and now Silversun Pickups' "Three Seed" is playing. Where else are you going to hear a set of songs like that played back-to-back? That's right, NOWHERE else.
 
Thank you, Bill. Thank you for keeping our musical minds sharp by tossing music together that we would never put together ourselves. 
 

{#Yes}
 iscoot4peace wrote:
Nope.  It would never have been missed.
 
bbryan wrote:
A brave decision to include this over-played tune in the playlist. And the right decision, I think...
 
 

By which you surely mean that it would've neve been missed by you and any number of others. However, I think there are enough positive comments here on the board, and this has a high enough overall rating, to suggest that it would have been missed by some.
Nope.  It would never have been missed.
 
bbryan wrote:
A brave decision to include this over-played tune in the playlist. And the right decision, I think...
 


I always get a kick out of reading the song comments for a more "commercially successful" song like this on RP.
 
Let's get a grip, folks. YES, we could hear this song on commercial radio (if we were commercial radio listeners... ahem), but Bill tossing a song like this into the mix on any given day is one of the things that makes RP so awesome. For example, we just heard "Andare" by Ludovico Einaudi then "My Little Basquiat" by Cowboy Junkies, this track, and now Silversun Pickups' "Three Seed" is playing. Where else are you going to hear a set of songs like that played back-to-back? That's right, NOWHERE else.
 
Thank you, Bill. Thank you for keeping our musical minds sharp by tossing music together that we would never put together ourselves. 
 cakkafracle wrote:
The bitching and moaning (in general)  is really tiresome.

 
I have to agree. What I dislike about this song is all the screaming. If he toned it down a bit, I'd find the song quite enjoyable.

When I hear this song I think of Mike Tyson air drumming.
The bitching and moaning (in general)  is really tiresome.

BLÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ {#Razz}
A brave decision to include this over-played tune in the playlist. And the right decision, I think...
I enjoy this song a lot more when instead of singing "It's all been a pack of lies," I substitute "It's all been a bag of limes."  I can't help grinning after that.
 ptooey wrote:
Man, I can't stand Phil Collins, but there's something about this song...
 
Exactly. He's done so much dreck, but this really holds up.

 MsJudi wrote:
I never much liked him solo, too soft and fuzzy for me, but this song rocks the rafters even after all these years.
 

Full agreement from me. This is the one solo song he ever did that always seems to pull me down from whatever else I'm doing.
I really don't need to hear this again...{#Stop}
Stewie Griffin did a very respectable cover of this, complete with drum break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6H-OpvATW4

Man, I can't stand Phil Collins, but there's something about this song...
I never much liked him solo, too soft and fuzzy for me, but this song rocks the rafters even after all these years.
Oh, Bill, thou disseth Sheryl Crow earlier this afternoon, then subjecteth us to PC? tsk.

 Feghoot wrote:
If you have no talent use an echo chamber, reverb, and repetition.
 
{#Rolleyes} So The Beatles also had no talent?
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over? Why are you subjecting us to this? If I never hear this nauseatingly overplayed song again in my whole life I will consider myself very lucky. You are better than this, folks.
 mongoose01ca wrote:
Guilty pleasure. Like ABBA.

But it does have one of the coolest drum breaks of all time, so that's gotta count for something.
 
I agree completely (well, maybe not the ABBA part, but even there, I can sort of get the appeal, even if it doesn't appeal to me).  

I am with everyone who criticizes all the Phil Collins fluff-pop out there, but It should also be said that in this tune he shows that he gets the idea of musical tension, and exploits it well, right up to that drum break.  And the crescendo continues beyond that, too.  A guilty pleasure of mine too.  Luckily, I've avoided classic rock radio, so it's not ruined for me.

 Feghoot wrote:
If you have no talent use an echo chamber, reverb, and repetition.

  Phil is a talented drummer (do you think Peter Gabriel would have any old drummer back in the Genesis days?) and he stepped up to the mic when Peter left the band.  I do agree that his solo stuff was perhaps less than stellar.  All said, I like this tune.


 SantaFeGrace wrote:
{#Yes}  He put on one hell of a show, too!   {#Drummer}
 
I gave this song a 2 but I must agree with you.  I saw him in a solo concert a few years ago (free tickets and box seats — who can say 'no'?  :) and I give him full points for showmanship.

Even thinking the music was crap, it was a good concert.
I though this song was dark and deep when I was a teen.  Now I hear it and it just feels bland.  More the imitation of something dark and deep.  Nostalgia can't hold it up for me.  Pass.
When the song ended I was waiting for a "Hits of the 80's, 90's and Today ... Mix-FM" jingle {#Lol}
Phil was one of the feature performers on WMIP (White Men in Pain). Others featured include Michael Bolton, (some) Don Henley. The dudes sound like they're having their voice boxes ripped out when they "sing." I'm with the try to refrain from negativity crowd, but this is one song I could go the rest of my existence without hearing again. I'm afraid that's not likely to happen, but I can hope.
If you have no talent use an echo chamber, reverb, and repetition.

 akmegan wrote:
Oh, HELL YEAH!! Love this song. Reminds me of being a little kid & my mom just ROCKING out & loving this song & Phil & Genesis. Thanks for the flashback! {#Music}
 

{#Yes}  He put on one hell of a show, too!   {#Drummer}

Light, accessible, broad appeal, "commercial" maybe.

It's a good pop song.  Some of you folks should lighten up.


  I survived the 80's, and yet the strongest memory I have associated with this song is from that scene in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie where Frylock learns his true origins...
 Proclivities wrote:
I generally refrain from negative comments, but this guy produced some of the most lifeless, commercial drivel in history.  For years, one couldn't escape that insincere, grossly-overplayed pablum.  He has done some great stuff, but I can't get that awful sound from the 1980's out of my ears.

 
Srsly. I decided to tone down my comments because, well, if someone likes a song, good for them. I can keep my trap shut.

But jeeze, this is just awful in every way you can think of but primarily it's been overplayed to the point where I reflexively reach for the "mute" button when it comes on.

I've found that if I just imagine Peter Gabriel singing, all Phil Collins/Genesis songs improve by ten fold. Still doesn't make me like Phil any more, though.
Guilty pleasure. Like ABBA.

But it does have one of the coolest drum breaks of all time, so that's gotta count for something.
This song totally got me into Miami Vice. I heard this was played on an episode (this was around 1989) and I decided, with some acknowledgement of the ridiculousness of the choice, to watch the daily reruns until I saw the episode with this song and the one with PC on it. It took me a couple of years, and by then I'd seen practically every one. I loved the characters - Black Daytona Spyder... White Testarossa... I was so shocked when they blew up Daytona that it is seared in my brain. I can still see the Bad Guy showing the missile launcher off, and then... Boom. Oh, and I guess the people were ok, especially EJ Olmos. Best soundtrack on TV, and (to take it full circle) they played a lot of Phil Collins/Genesis.
I generally refrain from negative comments, but this guy produced some of the most lifeless, commercial drivel in history.  For years, one couldn't escape that insincere, grossly-overplayed pablum.  He has done some great stuff, but I can't get his awful sound from the 1980's out of my ears.  Millions of people loved him so he obviously did something right.  To each his own.


Peace_tode wrote:
gjeeg wrote:

Love Phil, but always feel like he learned everything he ever knew from Tony and Pete. It's a bad bias: that drummers (percussionists) don't have equivalent musicianship to others.
Dis-proved by Henley.... and by Phil. Anyone who ccould drive Summer's Ready, Watcher of the Skies and The Lamb, qualifies.
Astounding the way Tony never soared in a solo career.
billbangert wrote:


I couldn't agree more, I really thought that Tony had the most musical talent of the original lineup.


Sorry for the clumsy paste.

Tony was the musical director, Peter G. was the creative genius. But PC had the commercial sensibilities that took over down the road. Everything from the "Mama" album on, PC had a signiture sound on the drum kit. Hell just listen to Eric Clapton's "Into The Sun" album. And this particular song gives the world a lick everyone can nail!

But that being said, the studio drumming for Supper's Ready on Foxtrot, and his vocal of the same on Second's Out is enough eveidence for anyone to see and appreciate his real talent.

Here, here. Too bad he went down the Top 40 road to creative ruin. I thought his first two solo efforts had a nice balance of those commercial sensibilities and a more personal and authentic expression. Nothing like a messy divorce to get the juices flowing! Then came No Jacket Required and Invisible Touch. I couldn't listen to any post-Gabriel Genesis for about a decade after those turds dropped.

This track is alright, although we certainly have heard enough of it on classic rock stations to last an eternity. And though I have appreciated RP's turning me on to early Genesis and a lot of Peter Gabriel's work I never would have heard otherwise, I sure hope this isn't a harbinger of more Collins' tunes being added to RP's rotation. This is a guy who has simply suffered from WAY too much overexposure. Bully for him, but I appreciate RP being more a shelter from all of that commercialism Phil seems to thrive on.

I have to admit that like Dove chocolate, this is a guilty pleasure.  {#Embarassed}
Indeed!  No more Phil.

 
shawshank wrote:
{#Frustrated}  Why not play "Sussudio" too!

 


{#Frustrated}  Why not play "Sussudio" too!

Yuck!!!! Get rid of it!!!
Oh, HELL YEAH!! Love this song. Reminds me of being a little kid & my mom just ROCKING out & loving this song & Phil & Genesis. Thanks for the flashback! {#Music}
gjeeg wrote:

Love Phil, but always feel like he learned everything he ever knew from Tony and Pete. It's a bad bias: that drummers (percussionists) don't have equivalent musicianship to others.
Dis-proved by Henley.... and by Phil. Anyone who ccould drive Summer's Ready, Watcher of the Skies and The Lamb, qualifies.
Astounding the way Tony never soared in a solo career.
 
billbangert wrote:


I couldn't agree more, I really thought that Tony had the most musical talent of the original lineup.
 

Sorry for the clumsy paste.

Tony was the musical director, Peter G. was the creative genius. But PC had the commercial sensibilities that took over down the road. Everything from the "Mama" album on, PC had a signiture sound on the drum kit. Hell just listen to Eric Clapton's "Into The Sun" album. And this particular song gives the world a lick everyone can nail!

But that being said, the studio drumming for Supper's Ready on Foxtrot, and his vocal of the same on Second's Out is enough eveidence for anyone to see and appreciate his real talent.
That must be Chester's Gorilla
calling this the worst song of all time is overkill - there are truly wretched phil collins songs that are much stronger contenders for that title

that said, i admit that this falls into an age-when-i-first-heard-it blind spot for me
I hate this song with the heat of a thousand suns.
I have to admit that - between all my indie, alternative & electronica-stuff - i've got "In the air tonight" on my mp3-player.
You mean like selling the salmon fishermen of Bristol Bay down the proverbial river for a toxic open pit mine?  Yeah, real honorable gov ya got there.      

 Ulises wrote:

Photo-John,

I know exactly how you feel.

I was all set to hate my current governor, The Right Honorable Sarah Palin, R-AK, but then she started doing things that I agree with from a fiscal point of view.
 


Great song!!!!!
Wow, Phil on RP. Not that I hate Phil, but I just did not expect this.
80's fer sure.
{#Drummer}
{#Drummer}  {#Drummer}

{#Puke}

Pleeease stop this {#Stop}
 Ulises wrote:

Photo-John,

I know exactly how you feel.

I was all set to hate my current governor, The Right Honorable Sarah Palin, R-AK, but then she started doing things that I agree with from a fiscal point of view.

 

Sounds like she is doing a fine job as a small state (from a population perspective) governor.  Let's keep her there!
 Photo-John wrote:
I really do think Phil Collins is a vapid waste of breath. However, I can't help liking this song. Damn me.

 
Photo-John,

I know exactly how you feel.

I was all set to hate my current governor, The Right Honorable Sarah Palin, R-AK, but then she started doing things that I agree with from a fiscal point of view.

I really do think Phil Collins is a vapid waste of breath. However, I can't help liking this song. Damn me.
Phil McCrackin, no!
I was in my teen years when this came out, when I hear it now it brings me back to the days of escaping thru my homes basement window to meet my friends. Good times Unfortunately I think he peaked with this song.. I know he had a few pop hits but nothing as well done as this.
gjeeg wrote:
Astounding the way Tony never soared in a solo career.
PC is an awesome drummer and seems to be quite the character. Banks? He has the personality of a urinal cake.
this came on the radio on the drive home from the Police concert in south Florida recently... all of us just nailed the air-drums ... we were awesome... really... no, we hadn't been drinking... much
Two words: Miami Vice.
So much Phil Collins solo stuff sucks, but this song is rad. Loved it as a little kid, like it now. The Postal Service's cover is very good too. Oh, and this video is a must see.
Seriously?