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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early peak
In 1981, before he discovered his social conscience, he wrote a great album about problems that he really understood, and sentiments that he really felt. There's real edge here, in the menacing bassline and explosive drums of 'air tonight'. There's some funk in the riffs 'behind the lines'. And genuinely exotic world influences in 'droned' and 'the roof is leaking'. He...
Published on 22 May 2003 by BenF

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Face Value
Face Value was released 1981 and is Phil Collins' first solo album. I think this is his worst album of his seven releases from 1981 to 2002. On allmusic it gets 4.5 out of 5 which I think is too high. I don't think it's as good as that. I think overall it's an okay album. Eight tracks I give 3/5 (okay) and one track I give 1/5 (very bad) and for me there are three good...
Published 6 months ago by MF


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early peak, 22 May 2003
By 
This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
In 1981, before he discovered his social conscience, he wrote a great album about problems that he really understood, and sentiments that he really felt. There's real edge here, in the menacing bassline and explosive drums of 'air tonight'. There's some funk in the riffs 'behind the lines'. And genuinely exotic world influences in 'droned' and 'the roof is leaking'. He even picked a great, neglected Beatles track to cover. So don't buy anything he's ever written - except this. 20 years ago, he got it absolutely right. Swallow your pride and put it in your basket.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, meaningful and musically "on the money"., 7 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
I first heard this album in the season of autumn and, for me, it will always be an autumn album. That said, it is an outstanding piece of work and a musical rarity i.e. not a weak song in sight. "In the air tonight" is so listeningly beautiful that,up until that famous drum solo occurs, you can almost heard a pin drop. Then there is the most romantic of love songs "this must be love" before the mood is again broken by the dispairing tones of "roof is leaking" and "Droned". The album takes this high to low mood swing throughout but it certainly keeps you interested. My personal favourite is "thunder and lightning" with lines as strong as " I never believed in second chance...you just get one crack of the whip and thats all...". Overall the album has great variety, great lyrics and music that seems as important now as it did in 1981. My only regret is that it was never repeated. Perhaps a case of too many eggs in the one basket..?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genius Finds His Feet, 28 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Superb. This stunning debut album from one of British music's most talented musicians has to be heard to be believed. Moving away from the restrictions of his Genesis project, Collins finds time to revisit past musical loves (see, for example, his exemplary take on the Beatles' 'Tommorrow Never Knows') and strikes an, at times, almost experimentalist pose. The pain of his seperation from his wife inspires many of the songs, making it like Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks', although better as it is not as commercial. Lyrically blessed and emotionally charged, the opening, epic, 'In the Air Tonight' proves to be the springboard from which the rest of the album takes flight. The drumming that Collins offers on the track is at once comfortingly familiar, yet strikingly original. No wonder they later asked him to do a drum solo for the benefit of starving African Children during 1985's Live Aid, stealing the show from the U2-Status Quo supergroup!! Guitar legend Eric Clapton, a long time friend of Collins due to their shared interest in the Prince's Trust, plays slide guitar with an emotional depth that transcends the pals' at times violent political differences. Surely one of the best albums of all times, ever. The roots of the longevity of Collins' career can be seen in this LP. 'Face Value'? Great Value!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great debut, 4 Jun 2004
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Phil Collins' reputation has suffered substantially over the past twenty years. He may not have been mentioned by either David Brent or Alan Partridge, but it feels like it. Many Genesis fans haven't quite forgiven him for admitting that, before the 'We Can't Dance' album, the band deliberately decided to "sell out", in his words. Maybe it was the rapid drift towards MOR in his solo albums, the chain of failed marriages, or simple jealousy of his money-making, but the critics have not been kind to our Phil in recent years.
I bought this LP when it first came out, and have now bought it as part of the new 3CD pack released in 2004 that is excellent value. I must admit I hadn't played the album for 20 years, and it really takes me back. In 2001, his stock was really high: he had been a fantastic vocal replacement for Peter Gabriel in Genesis, and he had won critical acclaim for his spare-time band, the jazz-rock specialists Brand X. So what if he did the odd cover of a Motown hit, or did the occasional pop video? It just added to the fun, and potentially seemed capable of bringing a mainstream audience to jazz-rock.
People coming to 'Face Value' for the first time may wonder what the dominant style is, 'In the Air Tonight' apart. And the answer is jazz-rock. Well, one band in particular: Weather Report. Listeners are strongly advised to buy that band's 'Heavy Weather' and 'Black Market'. (It is no coincidence that Genesis's concert drummer was Chester Thompson, who had also played drums on 'Black Market', nor that the bassist on that album was Al Johnson, who also plays on 'Face Value'.) Basically, 'Face Value' was a popularised version of Weather Report, updated with vocals and drum machines.
(Incidentally, the following year, long before the Prince's Trust ever existed, Phil was invited to play alongside Eric Clapton on John Martyn's 'Glorious Fool' LP.)
But Collins has always been a great opportunist, and he was sensitive to whatever style of music that the greatest number of fans liked. So the jazz-rock tendencies disappeared from subsequent albums, to be replaced by the MOR fug. The trouble was that Phil was a fair singer, drummer, pianist and composer, without being brilliant at any one of these activities. It's no clear if he will be remembered another 25 years from now for anything except 'In the Air Tonight', and to be frank, engineer Hugh Padgham deserves much of the credit for the sound of that song.
Enjoy this album for what it hoped to achieve -- i.e. to bring jazz-rock to a larger audience -- and weep for the fact that the larger audience later pulled Phil away from jazz-rock and towards the MOR.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
I generally only buy albums that I have heard before usually as a replacement for a copy that has been damaged. This is an excellant album and I would reccomend to any youngster that has just discovered Phil Collins among their dads record collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind Genesis, 3 April 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Phil Collins debut, an instant smash, revealed why Genesis' music was taking a more mainstream direction, and is far more impressive than that band's contemporaneous release, 'Duke.' I wasn't keen on that album's 'Behind The Lines,' but here Collins funks it up which seems to suit it better. Despite the brassiness of several other tracks, the overall feel of 'Face Values' draws comparisons with Peter Gabriel's third album, released in 1980. While Gabriel evokes Cold War age stress and politics, Collins uses the same barbed wire desolation to explore personal relationships. There are signs of his aptitude for balladeering, especially on 'You Know What I Mean' and the biting, intense 'If Leaving Me Is Easy.' He experiments on the instrumentals 'Droned' and 'Hand In Hand,' the former uncomfortably, the latter exaltingly. Of course, this album also gives him the opportunity to show his prowess and scope as a percussionist. It isn't only 'In The Air Tonight' that showcases his excellence in this area. His choice of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' to close the album is no mere token Beatles cover; it's a track that begs Collins to drum on. Despite an increasing run of stellar hits, this is, in my opinion, still his best album.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
His first solo album and he never bettered it. He will never write anything as good as In The Air Tonight. The man talents are immense and he has done great things since but this is Collins at his best.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phil's First Solo Effort, 22 May 2009
This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Phil Collins has had an interesting career. Coming in for Genesis' third album to be the drummer, he then went on to become the lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel left. He also joined the Fusion group Brand X while in Genesis. In 1981 he launched his successful solo career with this album, "Face Value". He has even had a small acting career to go along with his career in music. Far from one expects from a star, at least in the way he looks, one has to respect his career and what he has accomplished. This first album from him very much fits his career. There is an iconic song, some puzzling song choices and some hidden gems as well.

The album opens with "In the Air Tonight", a piece which has staying power as we near 30 years later, and with no end in sight, nor would one expect there to be. It is a simple piece, and yet masterful in the way it is executed. I suppose it didn't hurt that it spawned an urban legend about its origins either, but it would still be with us even if that had not happened. Next up is "This Must be Love", a nice pleasant piece but one which is easily forgotten after the opener. Next comes an odd choice as Phil chooses to cover "Behind the Lines", a Genesis song which had originally been released less than a year before on the "Duke" album. It is a different version, but it seems like a strange thing to do. "The Roof Is Leaking" is the next track, a nice track which has a different feel than the first pieces, with Phil on piano, and it blends well into two instrumentals (though with voices as instruments) called "Droned" and "Hand in Hand", which closes out the first half of the album.

"I Missed Again" opens the second half of the album, once again a decent piece but not a classic, which made the top 20 as a single. Next up is a nice slower piece titled "You Know What I Mean", which is one of the pieces which I would call a hidden gem, along with the following piece "Thunder and Lightning" which is a faster and more upbeat song. "I'm Not Moving" is an interesting piece and provides some more diversity to an already diverse album. "If Leaving Me Is Easy" is another slower piece, but in this case the slowness tends to drag on a bit. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is another one of the odd choices. It is certainly different from "The Beatles" version, but at the same time Phil's version isn't enough different to justify doing the cover, at least in my opinion.

The result is an album which has some great high points, but there are tracks here which one could well do without. Nevertheless, this is a classic album, and represents Phil's career quite well. He has always been one to perform, no matter the genre and that diversity comes through on this album, though certainly some styles are more prevalent than others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A modern Classic, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Fantastic modern classic, sadly the CD does not live up to the jaw dropping production quality that the original vinyl offered, when the original was first launched it was used by me and others as an instant reference Hi-fi album. In the AIr tonight was always a great way to test any speakers at full belt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Face value, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: Face Value (Audio CD)
Top album with some amazing tracks of very high emotional content. This is great music and I would recommend it to anyone.
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