If ever a record had a punctum, this has to be it. It’s a good song, not a great song, but it is lifted into a new dimension simply because of that drum fill we all know and love. Probably.
I wouldn’t admit to being a fan of Phil Collins’s work as a solo artist, but there is no denying that In The Air Tonight still does the old goosebump thing on my arms and legs when the little cheeky chappie launches into the drums. I am a fan of Phil Collins the drummer, especially when he was the drummer in Genesis before he became the drummer and singer. For me, PC has (or had) such a relaxed, loose style, he always appeared to be at one with his kit, working with it, rather than fighting it or giving it a good battering. His energy was less obvious than some of the more aggressive drummers, but he seemed to have a kind of lazy mastery of the art. It’s not that he made a different sound, as such, but rather that he seemed to do so with finesse. Not something you’d usually associate with a rock drummer, I’d argue. There are many Genesis tracks in which the Collins drum fill is the part I listen for most attentively. No, I probably can’t identify them off the top of my head, but once a track starts, I know one is going to come and I wait for the moment, maybe even re-winding the tune to enjoy it one more time.
The video is not too bad, but some of the film of the live performances of the song are less palatable. Reaching the drum-kit just in time smacks of rather too much cheese for my taste, although it’s still good to see how that noise was created.
As I was looking for the video, I came across other bits and pieces. Well worth a look to perhaps get a flavour of what I am trying to describe above.
I guess Mr Collins made a few bob from Cadbury’s following their appropriation of the tune. Good luck to him.
Earlier today, I heard a clip of a tune from a band introduced to me by a good friend at university, so I shall seek out my favourite of theirs for tomorrow. An American band with (if you are an English English speaker) a name which means something different in American, although they haven’t messed around with the spelling.