Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight' Sees Sales Bump After Viral Video - Rolling Stone
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Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ Sees a Sales Comeback After Viral Video

The 1981 classic sees a lift in sales of over 1,100% after the viral Twins React video

CANADA - DECEMBER 06: Phil Collins (Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images)CANADA - DECEMBER 06: Phil Collins (Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Phil Collins, 1981

Tony Bock/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” saw a noticeable sales bump over the weekend thanks to a viral video from Twins React, where 22-year-olds Tim and Fred Williams filmed their reaction to hearing the song for the first time.

In the video, Tim and Fred start off acutely tuned in to the song’s slow rhythmic beginning and lose it by the iconic drum kick in the latter half, as so many have done upon first hearing Collins’ 1981 hit.

The video apparently prompted viewers to do the same: On Friday and Saturday, “In the Air Tonight” saw an increase in sales of more than 1,100 percent compared with the previous two days. The song saw more than 4,600 digital sales in those two days, compared with a few hundred the weekend prior, according to data from Alpha Data. Sales from Friday and Saturday exceed nearly the rest of the month prior combined.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the sales boost though, streams on the song seem unaffected by the viral video so far, hovering between 200,000 and about 240,000 streams each day since mid-July.

The multiplatinum single from Collins’ debut solo album, Face Value, has proven timeless through several prominent features since its release, with the Twins React video being just the latest. It was featured in Miami Vice in 1984, and in the 2008 comedy The Hangover, in a scene in which Mike Tyson punches Zach Galifianakis’ character in the face as the beat drops for the song’s drum solo. It’s been featured in video games, too, like in the popular NBA 2K basketball franchise in 2014 and in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in 2007.

A 2013 Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll named “In the Air Tonight” as Collins’ best song.

In This Article: Phil Collins, song


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