Review: Face Value

When we’re talking about Phil Collins, everyone always remembers the guys smile and over exposure in the ’80s and early ’90s. But what a lot of people have forgotten is how good of a song writer and musician he was in his prime. Nothing shows off his skills as a writer more than the album, Face Value.

Released all the way back in 1981, Face Value was Phil Collins’ first solo album and it is still one of the best pop rock records ever released, well at least in my opinion. Collins took what made his songs in Genesis so great and expanded them into one full fledged record, one that does not have a single bad track and one that was very well produced.

The album starts off with the extremely memorable, In The Air Tonight. A fantastic pop rock song that has a great forceful drum rhythm and a vocal line that is full of Collins’ desires to get his feelings out in the open. This song is mostly remembered¬†for that clever advert featuring a gorilla on a drum kit, it has over shadowed the song in so many ways that (as fun as it was) it is just a crying shame. This level of song writing goes on through out the record with the excellent, Behind The Lines, The Roof Is Leaking, the instrumental Droned and Hand In Hand. The second half of the record is not quite as memorable as the first but it still holds its own. I Missed Again, Thunder And Lightning and If Leaving Me Is Easy are anything to go by, it is safe to say that it is still a great collection of songs.

The production is top quality stuff, so much so that even the original master CD still sounds pretty good for its age. Each instrument has room to breath which makes the phenomenal playing even more enjoyable to listen to. Drum enthusiasts will especially like this album as Collins lays down some magnificent grooves in several different styles. But you will still find some great guitar and bass through out the record amongst others.

Face Value is an album I could spend all day praising. It has aged better than most of the albums that came out around that time and is just as enjoyable today as ever. I would recommend the recently released twin disc remaster for its superb sound quality, or even the vinyl record if you have a turntable. It is an easy to find record either way and one that should be in everyone’s collection.

Rating : 10 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. In The Air Tonight
  2. This Must Be Love
  3. Behind The Lines
  4. The Roof Is Leaking
  5. Droned
  6. Hand in Hand
  7. I Missed Again
  8. You Know What I Mean
  9. Thunder and Lightning
  10. I'm Not Moving
  11. If Leaving Me Is Easy
  12. Tomorrow Never Knows