“In the Air Tonight“ is the debut solo single by the English drummer and singer-songwriter Phil Collins….which was released as the lead single from Collins’ debut solo album, Face Value, in January 1981. Collins co-produced the single with Hugh Padgham….who became a frequent collaborator in the following years. The song was an instant hit….while quickly climbing to # 2 on the UK Singles chart…..but was held off the top spot by the posthumous release of John Lennon’s “Woman”…..as it was also an international hit….after achieving top 10 status in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries while reaching # 1 in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. It peaked at # 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States….. and was later certified Gold by the RIAA….which represented 500,000 copies sold. The song’s music video, directed by Stuart Orme received heavy play on MTV when the new cable music video channel launched in August 1981.
“In the Air Tonight” remains one of Collins’ best-known hits…..while often cited as his signature song…..and is especially famous for his drum break towards the end…..which has been described as “the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in history” ….and one of the “101 Greatest Drumming Moments”. The song was ranked at # 35 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s” in 2006…..and today in 2020, the song is referred to “soft rock classic”.
As seen in this video herewith….“In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins is sung to prefight highlights of the IBF World Heavyweight Boxing Title Fight II between Larry Holmes verses Michael Sprinks….which is well worth the price of admission.