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Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight' is back on the charts thanks to YouTubers

"In the Air Tonight" has landed in second place on iTunes on Tuesday, right behind Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP."
Genesis At Poplar Creek
Phil Collins performs in 1982.Paul Natkin / Getty Images

Phil Collins' song "In the Air Tonight" has reentered the music charts nearly 40 years after its release, thanks to a viral YouTube video.

"What is this about? Let's see," Tim Williams, a 22-year-old who filmed himself listening to Collins' 1981 single for the first time alongside his twin brother, Fred, says before playing the song.

The video, titled "FIRST TIME HEARING Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight REACTION," was released July 27 and had been viewed nearly 5 million times as of Wednesday afternoon.

"He said, I feel like y'all are sleeping on me, let's wake them up," Tim says of the beat drop that comes toward the tail-end of the track. "I ain't gonna lie, Phil, you got me with that one."

"He dropped a beat three minutes in a song," said Fred. "That's unique. I've never seen that."

The twins' reactions, particularly their surprise at the drum solo, appears to have resonated both with new Collins' listeners and longtime fans of the artist, so much so that "In the Air Tonight" has landed in second place on iTunes on Tuesday, right behind Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP." Collins' song continued charting second through Wednesday.

"I'm not sure why, but watching this brought tears to my eyes," one person commented. "The innocence and the discovery perhaps."

Another user recalled in the comments section of the video a favorite memory of her driving with her late brother when "In the Air Tonight" came on the radio.

"When that drum solo kicked in, i pounded it on the dashboard and he thumped it on the steering wheel. I'll never forget how fun those few minutes were," she wrote. "I'm so glad you liked this song. Thanks for helping an old rocker chick remember this great memory."

"For me, the twins’ videos are bewitching for many reasons: their sweetness and good humor, the way they quickly recontextualize (and thereby reinvigorate) songs that I have heard thousands of times, and—perhaps most important—their curiosity and receptivity," writes Amanda Petrusich for The New Yorker.

Their YouTube channel TwinsthenewTrend, which mostly features a collection of first-time reaction videos, has existed since 2015, but only started gaining traction in the last few months.

Dolly Parton on Friday tweeted out their reaction video to "Jolene," which has since been viewed more than 3 million times.

"No point in begging," she wrote. "Jolene already stole these two."