"In the Air Tonight" is a song by English drummer and singer Phil Collins. It first appeared on Collins' 1981 inaugural solo album, Face Value. Released as his first solo single in the United Kingdom in January of that year, the song was an instant hit, quickly climbing to No. 2 on the UK Singles chart. It was also an international hit, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and No. 1 in the Netherlands. It was later certified Gold by the RIAA, representing 500,000 copies sold. The song's music video, directed by Stuart Orme, received heavy play on MTV when the new cable music video channel launched in August 1981. It remains one of Collins' best-known hits and is especially famous for his drum break towards the end, which has been described as "the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in history".RecordingThe recording is notable for its atmospheric production and macabre theme. Collins wrote the song about the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife, Andrea, in 1979. In a 1997 BBC Radio 2 documentary, the singer revealed that the divorce contributed to his 1979 hiatus from Genesis until the band regrouped in October of that year to record the album ''Duke."In the Air Tonight" remains a popular selection on many classic rock radio stations. It is the song most often associated with Collins' solo career, and he has performed versions of it at many events, most notably at Live Aid, where he played the song on a piano on the same calendar day in both Philadelphia and London. He also performed the song at The Secret Policeman's Ball, which was his first live performance as a solo artist.