Face Value (album)


Phil Collins: Roland drum machine, vocals, drums, Prophet -5, Fender Rhodes electric piano, vocoder Daryl Stuermer: Guitar, Banjo John Giblin: bass Eric Clapton: Guitar Don Myrick: saxophone Ronnie Scott: tenor saxophone Joe Partridge: Hawaiian guitar Louis Satterfield: trombone Alphonso Johnson: Bass Rahmlee Michael Davis: trumpet, flugelhorn Michael Harris: Trumpet L. Shankar: violin, tambura, " vocal percussion "

Hugh Padgham

Face Value is the first solo album by British singer Phil Collins, who was known as a drummer and vocalist of the band Genesis until then. It was released in February 1981. Most successful single from the album is In the Air Tonight.

The album title and cover art

The album title is a play on words between the concept of Face Value that identifies the value printed as a stamp in English and to be understood in the literal sense of a face value. By the close up of the face of Phil Collins on the cover of the latter sense is reinforced. The back of the cover shows Collins ' head from behind. The inside of the hinged cover contains a collage of personal photos and notes, which were made during the recordings. Above are distributed papers on which the title, the occupation of the individual pieces and credits are written in Phil Collins ' handwriting.

Content and style

The album contains the song In the Air Tonight, one of Collins ' biggest hits, which was also used for the background music of a scene in the television series Miami Vice. As shown on the following album ( Hello, I Must Be Going! ) Act most of the songs of pain and anger, as there was Collins at that time in a marriage crisis or in divorce. According to Collins ' deals the album but not only with the divorce from his wife, but thematically includes a time of change. In the songs This Must Be Love and Thunder and Lightning is talk of a new relationship.

Sonically the music is heavily inspired by the rhythm and blues and Motown sound, as evidenced by co-producer Hugh Padgham and the arranger of the horn section " Tom Tom" Washington. Both point out that it was not self-evident in the 80 years that a white musician a black wind - operated group ( the Phenix Horns here). How strong were the two worlds apart, is also to be noted that Washington reported in an interview how he was invited by Collins to take over the fan arrangement. He himself had never heard of Phil Collins and the Genesis band name he did not know and leads jokingly on to say that he kept everything exceptionally well because Phil Collins paid exorbitant fees.

The idea for the use of a fan group came Phil Collins when listening to the piece Behind the Lines in the Genesis version. Due to time constraints the tape recorder was set to twice the speed, so that the joint operations of guitars and synthesizers much shorter sound than normal playback speed. This sounds imitate the wind through her ​​staccato -like game in different pieces of the album.

Another striking feature is the frequent use of a drum machine of Roland, which seems unusual for the board of a drummer. Says Phil Collins in that the regular rhythm of a drum machine for him a kind of ruthlessness ( " relentlessness " ) expresses that should be reflected in the pieces. In direct contrast, the typical snare emphasized Phil Collins sound as he can be heard especially in the second half of In the Air Tonight is. It is formed by the duration and dynamics of the drum sounds are limited by strong filter, the so-called gates and compressors. This sound also has other drummers like Max Werner inspired, who published his piece Rain in May 1981 also.

Title list

Description of individual pieces

In the Air Tonight

This song was released as Collins ' first solo single and quickly became one of his greatest successes. It was taken about a month before the album on the market and included as a B- side of the song The Roof Is Leaking, which can also be heard on Face Value. Set in D minor, there is a sound foundation of only three chords in D minor, C major and B flat major, the ABCBA be repeated throughout the piece following the pattern. The interval distances are identical to those of the B- side of the single The Roof Is Leaking, only that the latter is set in F sharp major. Formally, one can distinguish two parts: The first part of the piece, from the beginning to 3:41, is dominated by the mechanically running rhythm of the drum machine, against a background of gentle -sounding synthesizer based on the chord diagram above. The second part is introduced by the use of the drums at 3:41 and lasts, dominated by various breaks and fills up to the dimming of the piece.

This Must Be Love

Content This Must Be Love describes the happiness of an unexpected and unhoped love after one disappointment was no hope left. Formally, the complex rhythm structure particularly worthy of mention. The chorus alternates between two bars in 3/4 and two bars of 5/4. The drum machine also plays a 4/4-time so that the focus of rhythm continually shifting.

Behind the Lines

Phil Collins has borrowed from the first track of the album Duke of Genesis this song. It thus constitutes a style icon for the entire album, as the wind stylistic take on the sound of the protruding at a faster playback speed guitars and synthesizers.

The Roof Is Leaking

As Collins points out, this title describes a tragic family history in the southern United States, in which the narrator is worried about his family. It's winter, his wife is pregnant ( " I hope the child does not come into the world, before it became warmer" ), his children cry because of the cold, but he tries in memory of his ancestors, who built the house in sorrow, to keep his household. The sound begins with a bottleneck played in the manner of a Steel Guitar Banjo important accents.

I Missed Again

In self-deprecating way Phil Collins describes in I Missed Again an unrequited love. Instead of complaining Miss You Babe text in earlier demo versions of the lapidary I Missed Again, what you can translate with free next again occurs. The title was released as another single, along with the song I'm Not Moving on the B-side.

If Leaving Me Is Easy

If Leaving Me Is Easy is the last single from the album. The song was once the Title I Miss You, Babe, under this title appeared a demo on the single. At the song also worked with Eric Clapton.

Tomorrow Never Knows

Tomorrow Never Knows is a Beatles track from 1966, appeared on the album Revolver. With its unusual sound collages and the fact dominating drums he represents a milestone in the representation of psychedelic music dar. Phil Collins addresses this model and transmits it in his interpretation in the 80s.


A punk band has been named after Phil Collins album Face Value.