Monday, November 3, 2008

In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins

Artist: Phil Collins
Song: In The Air Tonight
Year: 1981
Album: Face Value

This song is all over the place. You know that a song is overexposed when Family Guy makes a reference to it. Still, that can't take away from the powerful performance and the mood of the song. This has to be my absolute favorite Phil Collins song. It shows the dark side of human nature.

It's clear that this is a mood piece because listening to Phil Collins talk about the origins of this song will get you nowhere. That's because even Phil doesn't know where the song originated from. He has stated that 99% of the song's lyrics were made up on the spot. These were just his feelings pouring out of him, while he was dealing with a divorce.

Any story that you hear attached to this song is completely untrue. Phil Collins did not see a man refuse to save a drowning man. Phil Collins did not put a spotlight on him at a concert, during the singing of this song. Phil Collins did not have the man arrested and the man did not die. There was no man.

Urban legends like this can get out of hand. With this one, there isn't even a grain of truth to it. Despite the legends, the song is a powerful statement that resulted from a studio accident. The drums are the most powerful part of the song. They reverb technique used on the drums was found by accident while fooling around in the studio. The rest is history.

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord
I've been waiting for this moment, 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 the 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
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
And I've been waiting for this moment 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 your silence up, no you don't fool me
The hurt doesn't show; but the pain still grows
It's no stranger to you or me

And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord...

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