Viral Video Sends Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ Up the Chart
Phil Collins' 1981 classic "In the Air Tonight" is a hit again, thanks to a recent viral video. The song has reached No. 3 on iTunes' songs sales chart and is the fourth-bestselling track on the platform for all of last week.
Variety notes that Collins' track sits behind only "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion and Darius Rucker's "Beers and Sunshine" on the new chart. Its rediscovered success is credited to Tim and Fred Williams, 22-year-old twins from Gary, Ind., who recorded themselves listening to "In the Air Tonight" for the first time and uploaded it to YouTube on July 27.
The clip is one of the latest in a series where the two young men give their instant reactions to music from across the musical spectrum, ranging from Dolly Parton ("Jolene") and Bruce Springsteen ("Dancing in the Dark") to Sam Cooke ("You Send Me") and Evanescence ("Lost in Paradise"). The clip currently has more than 3.2 million views. You can watch it below.
"We’re black, [so] they don’t expect us to listen to that type of music," Fred Williams told CNN. “It’s just rare to see people open these days," Tim added. "People don’t open to step outside their comfort zone and just react to music they don’t know.”
What helped make the video stand out was the twins' shared freak-out when Collins' famous drum pattern enters the song. They even stopped their recording to comment on the moment. "That was cold," they agreed, noting that they'd never heard a song where it took three minutes to drop a beat.
In 2016, Collins recalled playing "In the Air Tonight" for Eric Clapton and his band, and they had a similar reaction. "When the drums came in, everybody said, 'Fucking hell! What the fuck is that?'" Collins said. "Nobody had ever heard anything like that. Frankly, drums were never that loud. But it was my album, and it worked. We were playing with psychological things. The audience is there going along with you, and then suddenly you knock them on the head with this thing: Bvoom-bvoom!"