Dawn and I woke up in Wall, South Dakota this morning. Wall makes for a nice halfway point on our regular road trips from Colorado to Minnesota.
A breakfast burrito in my lap and steaming mugs of Conoco coffee fuel our bodies. But we need something to fuel our souls for the 469-mile slog ahead.
So we turned to a higher power — the omnipotent and omnipresent Phil Collins. His 45-song collection of singles should get us through the Badlands.
The first track is In the Air Tonight, a soft, mid-tempo ballad about a guy who gleefully watches another guy drown. Sparse instrumentation and an even sparser drum machine guide us through verse one, chorus one, verse two,
and then all holy hell breaks loose …
Buh buh, bah bah, bum bum, bap bap, bah bah.
The monster drum fill comes from out of nowhere. It’s the musical equivalent of a horror movie jump scare. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still jarring. If you told me you were expecting that fill the first time you heard this song, I would not lend any credence.
Three tracks later, on Thru These Walls, we hear essentially the same fill.
Thirty-six times. It’s like a record executive said, “Hey, Phil, that drum fill?
People love it. Do more of that.”
Logically, Thru These Walls should be 36 times better than In the Air Tonight.
But It’s not. The two singles stand in stark contrast, proving that more of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it’s all a pack of lies.