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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 3 April 2008
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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on 22 May 2003
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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on 7 November 2001
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 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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on 11 March 2016
Fantastic remaster from the muddy old CD I bought in the 90's.
Haven't played the album for ages but hearing this you realise how diverse this first solo album was as he was searching for a sound.e
People associate this album with the divorce ballads and I The Air Tonight but there is much more here. The exuberant joy of Hand in Hand, the American midwest tale of hardship in The Roof is Leaking and the incredible tribute to Lennon with Tomorrow Never Knows are 3 great reasons to buy this.
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on 26 April 2016
I like vinyl and stick to it for the sound and the size of the covers(in this case anyway it has been a risk to update the covers as they look a little creepy(another reviewer stated his children were a little scared). This is another of Phil's best pop/rock albums ever released. Phil Collins was and will always be one of the finest music performers/creators of all time. I own the original album and wanted to see what this new remastered version offered. Honestly I am a Little dissapointed, It is good to have it sounding better in vinyl but Phil, what a bout the extras?. The vinyl version I bought does not include the digital copy or download and no extras? According to what I saw the cd does come with extras such as demos and live versions, but what about the extended versions or the instrumental versions. Very disappointing. Also liner notes, at least on the vinyl version are very poor, no info on the time when songs were written..Phil, You wrote in the sleeve.."Hello, by now you will probably have purchased these re-masters and it's too late to go back!". Yes it is.
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on 2 February 2016
I was reintroduced to a dear old friend today.

Having purchased some remastered Beatles albums on both vinyl and CD, sad I know, it was with some trepidation whether I ought to bother with Mr Collins. The Beatles remastered albums were in my opinion a opportunity missed sonically and musically. Pampering to purists leaving us music lovers destined to thinking what could have been.

This is not the case with Face Value, sonically and musically the album delivers over and over. What a sheer joy it's been listening, really listening, to this album. It's probably better known for it's first track but the rest is equally as good. Finishing with a version of the Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows just shows his engaging versatility and musicianship.

Thank you Phil for going back and treating us to this version, it has truly been a delight. Vinyl version is sooooooo good.
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on 5 October 2013
Collins' first solo venture and, for me, this is his best and most enjoyable album. The collection kicks off with the classic 'In The Air Tonight', which builds atmospherically to its brilliant climax, and is joined by a raft of great songs including the sizzling 'I Missed Again', the lovely 'This Must Be Love', 'The Roof Is Leaking' and another superb ballad in the shape of 'If Leaving Me Is Easy'. This is a really good collection of uptempo material and stark ballads; buy this and enjoy one of the finest voices in the rock business.
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on 12 February 2016
Just about spot on, very good Remaster. The bass, the bass. In the Air Tonight With a Dynavector 10 X 5 and 200 watts rms per channel available the neighbours loved it. The actually quality of the vinyl press not so good. I wet washed my copy after the first play and surface noise improved significantly . Still recommended..
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on 4 June 2004
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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on 11 April 2016
I have had two copies of this disc and both had a serious manufacturing fault. Both had bad noise (low frequency whooshing sound) under the audio which is clearly audible between tracks on side one. This is a great shame as the audio quality would otherwise be first class.
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