10 Craziest Musical Urban Legends

9. Phil Collins' Drowning

Most people's common understanding of In the Air Tonight can be summed up by its iconic drum break. Ever since its release in the early '80s, there isn't anyone who hasn't played air drums to Collins' fill when he cuts through the mix on the radio. Then again, people have looked a bit deeper into what they claim to be some murderous behavior in the lyrics.

As the fans have speculated over the years, Collins was originally writing this as a bit of moral revenge after seeing someone refuse to save a drowning man one night. In that respect, the entire song seems to shift into creepy territory as Phil darkly intones that "You can wipe off that grin, I know where you been." The rumor ran rampant for so long that Collins was even believed to have called out the murderer from the stage when he showed up to one of his gigs.

Like all great pop songs though, it just comes back to love at the end of the day. In fact, the whole reason why Phil wrote his first solo record Face Value was to make peace with his first wife, whom he was separating from at the time. While everyone falls out of love at some point in their life, sometimes it's more interesting to focus on a watery grave than actual heartbreak.


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