Although it has been 39 years since the single was released, Phil Collins’ 1981 hit “In the Air Tonight” is currently 3rd on the iTunes song sales chart. The cause of this is a viral YouTube video in which twins from Gary, Indiana live-react to the song. Their genuinely excited response to the late-song drum break has become an internet sensation in the last few weeks since the video was uploaded.
Ahead of the classic on the sales chart are two brand new songs, “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion and “Beers and Sunshine” by Darius Rucker. While it’s hard for an old song to compare to the streaming numbers for new hits, the YouTube video alone currently has 3.5 million views and rising. Variety.com theorizes that another reason “In the Air Tonight” would perform better on the sales chart could be that a significant amount of the downloads come from an older audience that is rediscovering it, while a younger audience would just stream it.
Credit goes primarily to the music, and the song has remained in many radio stations’ rotation since it originally peaked at #19 on the Billboard top 100. However, the “TwinsthenewTrend” video is the real reason the song has become so popular again recently. They were getting really into the tune before the iconic drum break and paused it several times before it to comment, unintentionally building up the suspense for any fans anticipating the key moment. Their reaction is far from disappointing as they visibly jump back in their seats. One of them says “He said, I feel like y’all sleeping on me, let’s wake ‘em up!” and the other pauses again to repeat it and add “That was cold how he did it, I ain’t gonna lie, he got me on that.”
The twins started out primarily reacting to rap songs, but moved to older tunes after the success of their live-react for Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, thanks to one fan’s suggestion for them to hear it. Their other popular videos include reactions to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” The Carpenter’s “We’ve Only Just Begun” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”