Face Value is the debut solo album by Genesis front man Phil Collins, released in February 1981 on the Virgin label internationally and Atlantic Records in North America. It was released in the UK 11 days after his 30th birthday. The album includes the hit single, "In the Air Tonight", whose dark mood was inspired by the fallout of Collins' first marriage with his wife Andrea.
By 1978, Phil Collins had been part of Genesis for eight years. After spending the first five of those years as a drummer, he reluctantly accepted the role of front man of the group following original vocalist Peter Gabriel's departure shortly after the release of their conceptual progressive rock album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The first album where Collins took over was 1976's A Trick of the Tail, which while still featuring the same type of progressive rock that the group had been recording since its 1969 debut, also featured several ballads and softer rockers. Their 1978 album, ...And Then There Were Three..., featured their first crossover hit, "Follow You, Follow Me". The song and the subsequent album were the beginning of the group's breakaway from their progressive rock past into a more commercial, radio-friendly pop sound which alienated older fans but brought out newer ones. Following ...And Then There Were Three... and a world tour across America, Europe, and Japan, Collins took a leave of absence from the group to deal with his troubled family life. Collins' first wife filed for divorce in 1979 and left Collins in the home they shared in England by himself. Collins reportedly stayed in his house for weeks working on songs that reflected his personal life. Initially, Collins did not want to record them for an album until Atlantic Records, Genesis' record label in America, and Virgin Records, his label overseas, offered him a solo contract. Collins would base the majority of Face Value on the divorce he had endured. Some of Collins' material that he wrote for Face Value made its way onto Genesis' subsequent follow-up, Duke. Collins' radio-friendly vocals helped to make Duke a major success.