SD 16029 Face Value
Produced by Phil Collins assisted by Hugh Padgham
Released on February 1981
Find it at GEMM
SD 16029 cover  

P hil Collins was the last member from Genesis to release a solo album; Face Value proved worth the wait. Although Collins had made recent commercial inroads with Genesis, notably the single “Misunderstanding” (from Duke), Face Value elevated the singer/drummer to star status. The songs are influenced less by Genesis (in fact, the reverse would prove to be the case) than Peter Gabriel’s third album, which Collins had appeared on. Using heavy, exotic percussive textures (often sans cymbals) and moody synthesizers, Face Value brought to mind some of Gabriel’s darker character studies (“Intruder,” “Biko”) with its advance single and video, “In The Air Tonight.” But Collins proved to be a man of many faces: a romantic balladeer, a smooth pop singer, a sympathetic storyteller, a sonic adventurer. Subsequent singles from Face Value revealed a real knack for writing catchy pop songs that resurrect the halcyon days of Motown’s golden era, a light-hearted reworking of Duke’s “Behind The Lines” among them. In an attempt to show his range as a songwriter, Collins casts his eye on country music (“The Roof Is Leaking”) and psychedelia (a cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows”) with good results. But his strength lied in romantic ballads with adult themes, often addressing his own marital problems in titles like “If Leaving Me Is Easy” and “I’m Not Moving.” By matching upbeat melodies with downbeat observations, Face Value can seem shallow on inspection, but the same charge could have been levelled against hits from Gabriel (“Games Without Frontiers”) and Genesis (“Misunderstanding,” “No Reply At All”), proving that most people don’t really listen to the words. Lots of people listened to Face Value and loved it, thus the cult of Collins was born.

SD 16029 inner gatefold SD 16029 back cover
SD 16029 inner gatefold SD 16029 back cover


  1. IN THE AIR TONIGHT    5:32
  2. THIS MUST BE LOVE    3:55
  3. BEHIND THE LINES    (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford)    3:53
  4. THE ROOF IS LEAKING    3:16
  5. DRONED    2:55
  6. HAND IN HAND    5:12
  7. I MISSED AGAIN    3:41
  8. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN    2:33
  10. I'M NOT MOVING    2:33
  11. IF LEAVING ME IS EASY    4:54
  12. TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    4:46

    All songs written by Phil Collins unless noted


PHIL COLLINS -- vocals, Roland drum machine, drums, Prophet, Rhodes, vocoder, percussion, Fender, piano, congas, claps, marimba, 8-track engineering
DARYL STUERMER -- guitar, banjo, 12-string guitar
Stephen Bishop -- backing vocals
Children from The Church of Los Angeles -- choir (6,12)
Eric Clapton -- guitar (11)
Rahmlee Michael Davis -- trumpet, flugelhorn
Martyn Ford Orchestra -- string section John Giblin -- bass
Michael Harris -- trumpet, flugelhorn
Alphonso Johnson -- bass
Arif Mardin -- string arrangements (8,11)
Don Myrick -- tenor sax, alto sax
Joe Partridge -- slide guitar (4)
Peter Robinson -- Prophet (3)
Louis Satterfield -- trombone
Ronnie Scott -- tenor sax solo (7)
Shankar -- violins, tamboura, voice drums
Gavyn Wright -- string section leader
Hugh Padgham -- engineer
Trevor Key -- photography

UK February 1981 Virgin LP/CS V/TCV 2185 gatefold cover
US/CAN February 1981 Atlantic LP/CS SD/CS 16029 gatefold cover
GER 1981 Atlantic LP/CS WEA 99143/499143 gatefold cover
US 1985? Atlantic CD/CS SD/CS 16029  
UK June 1988 Virgin CD CDV 2185  
US June 1994 Atlantic Gold Standards CD 82520 booklet


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