All right, let’s get this shit out of the way.
Best part? 3:16-3:20. Everyone knows this song has an 11-beat drum solo, the likes of which will never be duplicated. Everyone plays the air drums/beats the steering wheel/vocalizes the rhythm every damn time this song gets played on 80s on 8 (or your terrestrial radio station of choice). But the thing is … (shhh!) … it’s kind of the only good part of the song.
What? Think about it. The whole thing is about 15 beats-per-minute too slow, the melody is boring, and the lyrics lost all mystique once the whole true story of a guilt-ravaged SOB who spiraled off the mortal coil after being literally spotlighted by Phil Collins himself urban legend was proven to be just that — the stuff of legend (Eminem’s efforts to perpetuate said myth notwithstanding).
Wikipedia says this about the drum solo:
The mood is one of restrained anger until the final chorus when an explosive burst of drums releases the musical tension, and the instrumentation builds to a thundering final chorus.
I beg to differ. After the”explosive burst,” Phil kinda just returns to the same-old same-old of the chorus. No key change, no crescendo, no real change in mood, despite what the almighty Wikipedia thinks it hears.
But the drum solo remains unequivocally iconic. Even though it’s performed on a drum machine, for God’s sake. Just when we all thought Phil Collins was cool.