Frampton Comes Alive was one of the definitive rock albums of the 1970’s. It captured Peter Frampton in his best environment, in front of an audience. As with other bands like REO Speedwagon (at least until they started producing their own albums), Frampton’s studio albums had trouble conveying the energy of his live appearances. But when Frampton Comes Alive was released n 1976 it quickly went to the top of the charts. It produced a couple of hit singles, Show Me the Way, and Baby I Love Your Way, and the final song on the album, Do You Feel Like We Do is still an anthem for 1970’s rock and roll. Frampton’s use of the voice box in this song is classic.
Peter Frampton started his rock and roll journey a few years earlier, in a band that you will probably recognize; Humple Pie. He did some of the song-writing for this band and then moved on to a solo career.
After his wildly successful live album, he went back into the studio and released I’m In You in 1977. Unfortunately for Frampton, the record studio was once again asserting its influence and was trying to turn him into a teen idol. This was not where Frampton’s hardcore fan base was and it turned out to be a somewhat bad move for his career.
Peter also had a starring role in the movie version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was once again a disappointment when, despite all the pre-release publicity, it flopped at the box office. Once again, Frampton felt the negative effects. For a number of years he faded into somewhat relative obscurity but then started touring again and regained some of his lost stardom.
It is somewhat unfortunate that the studio execs couldn’t keep out of Frampton’s way, because probably could have been a lot bigger than he was. However, his Comes Alive album still holds one of the top spots on the all time best seller list. If you have never heard it and want a classic example of 70s live music at its best, pick up this cd and give it a listen.
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