Songs that Changed Music: Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight
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➡️➡️Learn more about In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins here: https://producelikeapro.com/blog/songs-that-changed-music-phil-collins-in-the-air-tonight/ This week was the 40th anniversary of the release of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight, the legendary debut single off his first solo album "Face Value"! Phil Collins’ 1981 debut single, “In the Air Tonight,” is one of the most influential pop songs of all time. The song has many striking features. It starts with drums from a Roland CR-78 drum machine and an electric guitar, after which a pulsating synth pad and a Fender Rhodes piano come in. Together they set a strong, melancholy mood, over which Collins angrily and sadly ponders the separation from his wife. The CR-78 beat is mixed in the background, providing punctuation rather than a groove, making the song sound like a low-key ballad. The ballad feel lasts for a full 3 minutes and 40 seconds, with the only moments of true drama provided by Collins singing “I remember,” masterfully dramatized by a Roland VP-300 vocoder, delays and a panned cymbal roll. At this point most people would expect a saxophone or synth solo, and for the song to end. If that had been the case, the song would most likely have sunk without a trace. By contrast, at 3:41 one of the most dramatic, legendary and talked-about moments in the history of music arrives: the entrance of Collins’ gated drums, in particular THAT astonishing 10-note tom-fill, leading to a proper backbeat and the introduction of John Giblin’s bass. The gated reverb drum sound was first heard a year earlier on Peter Gabriel’s song “Intruder,” on which Collins also played drums. Engineer Hugh Padgham heard Collins play drums through the heavily compressed reverse talkback mic on a new SSL desk, which also had noise-gates on every channel, and was awe-struck by the unexpected new sound. Gabriel and Collins also loved it, and the SSL was duly rewired so the talkback mic could be recorded easily. For “In The Air Tonight” a year later, Collins and Padgham recreated the sound with heavily compressed and gated ambient mics. The resulting thunderous gated drum sound has since been imitated countless times, and is now so deeply engrained in popular culture that it’s easy to forget how revolutionary it was at the time. ❤️My Favorite Plugins:
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