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Published on March 1st, 2017 | by Alan Cross


Listen to Rock’s Most Famous Drum Fill Over and Over Again for 90 Minutes

Back in the early 80s, I went to a drum clinic hosted by Chester Thompson. During the Q&A session, someone asked him what it was like to work with Phil Collins. Chester replied “I taught him to play ONE fill–and he went on to make a billion bucks.”

That fill, precisely with 3:16 elapsed in “In the Air Tonight,” is probably the most famous drum fill–what fans called “the magic break–in all of rock.

Recorded in a big room at Townhouse Studios in London with its hard walls, floors and ceiling with overhead mics run through a gated reverb, the sound of the “magic break” became part of Collins’ drum sound for the rest of the decade.

Fast-forward to 2017. Creator Joseph Prein has taken those few seconds, added a few subtle variations and stretch out the magic to a full 90 minutes. Please enjoy.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One Response to Listen to Rock’s Most Famous Drum Fill Over and Over Again for 90 Minutes

  1. doug says:

    Oooo, my new ringtone.

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