Phil Collins' 'In The Air Tonight': Why This Song Sucks
[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight"
History: "In The Air Tonight" was the first single of the solo Phil Collins era. Lots of people know it. You (probably) know it. Your friends (probably) know it. If you have a kid older than, say, 17-years-old, your kid (probably) knows it. If your kid has a kid, your kid's kid (probably) doesn't know it. Oh, also: Shaq used it in a song of his on his 1996 album, You Can't Stop The Reign, because nobody was brave enough to tell Shaq that the Orlando Magic drafted him to put a ball in a hoop, not to make rap albums with silly titles.
Scientific Analysis: Collins wrote "In The Air Tonight" after divorcing a woman he assumed would never stop loving him. He was angry, apparently. He's said as much in interviews. And that's cool, I suppose. Except knowing that that's the reason he wrote it takes it from being this mysterious brilliant thing into one giant big dick move. And dick moves are not supported by science, bro.
To wit: When I was 13-years-old, I went to this dance they were having at my middle school. I was supposed to meet up with a girl there. The girl was my girlfriend, but at middle schools in the '90s that just meant that when I saw her on campus I'd give her handwritten letters that were mostly lyrics from rap songs. It's not like girlfriends in middle school today, where instead of giving them handwritten letters you get them pregnant and then they have to drop out of school.