In the Air Tonight (5:35)

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In the Air Tonight is a song by Phil Collins which first appeared on his 1981 album, Face Value. It was the first single of Collins’ solo career, and remains one of his best known hits.

The recording is notable for its atmospheric production and macabre theme. Released in January 1981 in the UK, the single was an instant hit, quickly climbing to Number 2 in the Singles Chart. It was also an international hit, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Chart in the summer of 1981.

“In the Air Tonight” remains, alone among Collins’ solo oeuvre, a popular selection on many classic rock radio stations. It is the song most often associated with Collins’ solo career, and he has performed versions of it at many events, notably at Live Aid, where he played the song on the same calendar day in both Philadelphia and London. He also performed the song at The Secret Policeman’s Ball.

The lyrics of the song take the form of a dark monologue directed towards an unnamed, possibly prominent person.

Musically the song consists of a series of ominous chords played over a simple drum machine pattern (the Roland CR-78 Disco-2 pattern, plus some programming); processed electric guitar sounds and vocoded vocals on key words add additional atmosphere. The mood is one of restrained anger until the final chorus when an explosive burst of drums releases the musical tension, and the instrumentation builds to a thundering final chorus.


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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

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • TWHsr

    Cool now as it was on Miami Vice.

    13 Jul 4:58am Reply
  • kathwalt

    awesome song and sad at the same time.

    11 Jul 3:09pm Reply
  • razor_sharp7

    Amazing drums

    6 Jul 6:26pm Reply
  • icetune

    Miami Vice.

    1 Jul 5:44pm Reply
  • AcousticVersion

    "You know the song by Phil Collins, "In the Air of the night" about that guy who coulda saved that other guy from drowning but didn't, then Phil saw it all, then at a a show he found him? That's kinda how this is, you coulda rescued me from drowning Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downers now, I'm drowsy" [2]

    3 Jun 2:39pm Reply
  • Nitephoenix

    This song is gorgeous.

    16 May 10:33am Reply
  • floragunde

    suuuuper song

    13 May 2:24pm Reply
  • lordof_thechavs

    Such a shame what adverts do to songs for me.

    8 May 12:50am Reply

    One of his best songs as a solo artist! (And he has many good ones.)

    30 Apr 5:51pm Reply
  • Geminicb8

    The drums are insane!!! Love Phil Collins!

    29 Apr 2:57pm Reply
  • riverliffey

    This song is BAD ASS! [2]

    17 Apr 3:30pm Reply
  • TWHsr

    Just love it and always have.

    14 Apr 6:08am Reply
  • blustarent

    Immortal! [2]

    28 Mar 1:19am Reply
  • websrfr

    so is doing videos now??? Kewl!!!

    24 Mar 10:17pm Reply
  • Gardeniablum

    One of my favorite songs... I just love it!

    20 Mar 2:54am Reply
  • TWHsr

    Always has been the best sound and it will last a long time So good.

    14 Mar 6:17am Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski


    11 Mar 9:10pm Reply
  • Barthrax666

    Czy mi się wydaje, czy tu jest wzmocniona perkusja? Już od samego początku piosenki... W wersji radiowej perkusji nie słychać jej tak mocno.

    20 Feb 7:19pm Reply
  • b5stewa

    The real Miami Vice..365 Daytona Spyder night riding with Rico while he's loading the double barrel 12G

    25 Jan 8:07am Reply
  • PawuIon


    15 Jan 12:58am Reply
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