Phil Collins: Nobody Had Ever Heard Anything Like That’

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Phil Collins: Nobody Had Ever Heard Anything Like That’

Phil Collins Looks Back on the ‘In the Air Tonight’ Drum Break: ‘Nobody Had Ever Heard Anything Like That’
By Jeff Giles February 12, 2016 10:42 AM

That album’s landmark single, “In the Air Tonight,” contains one of rock’s most famous drum breaks — a moment Collins discussed with Digital Trends.

“When we had Eric Clapton and some of his guys come up to the studio, we played ‘In the Air Tonight’ for them. When the drums came in, everybody said, ‘F—ING HELL! What the f— is that?’ Nobody had ever heard anything like that. Frankly, drums were never that loud. But it was my album, and it worked,” argued Collins. “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!”

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ZLeyba

Senior Member
i find it really interesting that the whole gated-reverb effect on tom toms like that has become to be known as "Phil Collins" style
 
i find it really interesting that the whole gated-reverb effect on tom toms like that has become to be known as "Phil Collins" style
... particularly because it was first used on the Peter Gabriel song 'Intruder'. Either Gabriel, Steve Lillywhite, or Hugh Padgham appears to have come up with the idea. Would be nice if Collins mentioned that.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
But didn't Phil admit he borrowed the fill from a live Frank Zappa album?

Of course, if he did, then I suppose he's still right. Zappa's music was never exactly mainstream stuff most people listened to.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
... particularly because it was first used on the Peter Gabriel song 'Intruder'. Either Gabriel, Steve Lillywhite, or Hugh Padgham appears to have come up with the idea. Would be nice if Collins mentioned that.
Absolutely. Now Phil was certainly a contributor and he played on that cut (as well as 'No Self Control', etc. But his Face Values album wasn't the first.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
... particularly because it was first used on the Peter Gabriel song 'Intruder'. Either Gabriel, Steve Lillywhite, or Hugh Padgham appears to have come up with the idea. Would be nice if Collins mentioned that.
but of course if you look at liner notes on vinyl, he is credited on that track. no doubt he played his part, heard the effect and used it on his own, .....like every other musician does
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
but of course if you look at liner notes on vinyl, he is credited on that track. no doubt he played his part, heard the effect and used it on his own, .....like every other musician does
I'd say it's like Thomas Edison didn't actually invent the light bulb, he invented the first commercially practical light bulb.

Ludwig didn't invent the bass drum pedal, he invented the first practical bass drum pedal.

Sometimes you don't have to invent something to be known for it, you just have to do it in a way that's practical enough to become popular.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I wonder if Phil just got sick of his own sound though. It was so popular, he used it on all of his big hits, so I wonder if he felt obligated to include the "noise-gated-toms" because it was 'his' signature sound? I don't know if I would've liked his tom fills in "Turn It On Again" to have been affected like that, it sounds much better the way it is.
 

drumbent

Member
... particularly because it was first used on the Peter Gabriel song 'Intruder'. Either Gabriel, Steve Lillywhite, or Hugh Padgham appears to have come up with the idea. Would be nice if Collins mentioned that.
There's another link between both of those both albums; listen to this drum fill during "No Self Control". The main accents / first beats of each grouping are pretty much the same as "In the Air" (though this one is a lot busier and the tempo a bit faster).

https://youtu.be/3yEcTB2va5E?t=2m0s
 

drumbent

Member

drumbent

Member
But didn't Phil admit he borrowed the fill from a live Frank Zappa album?

Of course, if he did, then I suppose he's still right. Zappa's music was never exactly mainstream stuff most people listened to.
Nope, not that one. The Zappa quote was related to the live version of the Genesis tune "Afterglow". Phil heard the fill during a tune called "Trouble Every Day" from Zappa's "Roxy and Elsewhere" album, with Chester Thompson and Ralph Humphries on drums. Chester of course later became the Genesis tour drummer, and Phil said "when we're playing together we've got to put that fill in somewhere!" and the end section of Afterglow was it.

Zappa's version: https://youtu.be/p3Tic-HjKD0?t=6m5s

Genesis: https://youtu.be/7S9itUQ7LBE?t=8m36s (I used an old "original" version from the 70's, since it includes the fabulous Mellotron roaring along. A cleaner version: https://youtu.be/_12_-jzqOlE?t=18m28s)
 
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