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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Phil Collins performs during opening ceremonies on Day One of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City.

Phil Collins wants you to usher in 2018 with the thundering drums of his solo hit “In The Air Tonight.” 

Collins has tweeted a message encouraging people to play the song on New Year’s Eve, explaining that, “If you play ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins on December 32st at 11:56:40 the drum break will play right as the clock strikes midnight. Star off your new year right.”

The song, released on during January of 1981 as the first single from Collins’ first solo album Face Value, was a Top 5 hit worldwide and went triple-platinum in the U.S. and has achieved iconic status. “In The Air Tonight” has become the subject of debate within Genesis as to whether Collins ever presented the song to the band to record.

Keyboardist Tony Banks claims Collins did not, but Collins suspects he may have and that Banks and guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford passed on it at the time:

“I don’t remember not playing ‘In The Air Tonight.’ I played them pretty much most of what I had. A few things were less developed and I probably didn’t play them there, but ‘In The Air’ was what it was. It didn’t have drums on it, and I think that’s one of the reasons why it went missing, went through the net, was because it didn’t have the big drums to start with, and it was only three chords going with the drum machine. And I don’t think it was magical enough for Tony or Mike to notice.”

Collins begins an 11-date South American tour on February 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights