Collins on 'In the Air Tonight' and when albums died
Phil Collins in depth on some topics:
On “In the Air Tonight”The song — from the 1981 album “Face Value” album and 35 years old this year — “still sounds like it was new,” said Collins. It has long been the source of an urban myth that he wrote it after witnessing an incident in which a man refused to come to the aid of a drowning swimmer. “I think the mystery of the song has kept it going,” he said. “None of it is true because those lyrics were improvised. I don’t know what it’s about. When someone says, ‘I know what it’s about,’ I’ll say, ‘Well, I don’t. Tell me.’"
On when albums diedBefore the birth of CDs, Collins said albums were made with two sides in mind. “Side One would have a good opener and a good closer. And Side Two would have a good opener and a great closer. You had to keep the listener interested enough to get to the end of the side and then there was a ceremonial turning over of the record. That all changed with CDs because everything was on one side.”
On writing sad songs“We’ve all had girlfriends we’ve missed. We’ve all — well, not all, but some of us — have had marriages fail,” he said. “Some of us have problems with our kids. All those things that happen to everybody happen to me. Once you felt it, you know what it feels like. I don’t feel like being happy is detrimental.”