The Tor Guides

Frampton Comes Alive again?

In Classic pop on 29 April, 2011 at 10:40

I wonder if I’m dreaming,
I feel so unashamed.
I can’t believe this is happening… to me

Peter Frampton was one of the most despised pop stars of the 70s (as well as one of the most liked). Coming from nowhere – at least as far as I was concerned – he was suddenly on top of charts all over the world with his fifth solo album from 1976, the double live album Frampton Comes Alive. He soon became the archetype of the soft rocking sappy american – with brothers playing in Styx or Kansas or any of their likes – even though his credentials told a different story: He was in fact a Brit and although he was born in 1950, he had already been a member of Herd and Humble Pie, the latter together with Steve Marriott of Small Faces fame. Before his solo career took off, he played studio sessions for Harry Nilsson as well as George Harrison, on his own double album All Things Must Pass from 1970.

To release a double live album took some guts at the time but eventually became the thing to do. Legendary producer Tony Visconti says in his memoirs that Frampton´s success was the reason why Thin Lizzy also wanted to record a double live  – eventually the Lizzy´s mighty Live and Dangerous (which may have been more of a studio product that a live act) was a great success, both commercially and critically.

In my own vinyl basement, where all older vinyl records are being kept, I have a copy of Frampton Comes Alive, purchased in Spain way back in the 70s. I don´t think I´ve listened to it more than a couple of times and never after the 70s. When I hear a pop reggae version of Baby I love Your Way on the radio some years ago, I suddenly realised that it sounded good, really good, even if I at that time wasn´t ready for a full and final revision of my relation to Frampton.

However, old truths are made be turned over and I have now come to a stage in my life where I have dared to revisit Frampton and his live recordings – and the time of resurrection may now have come! I wouldn´t say that all the songs are that heavenly great but on the other hand, they´re not that bad either – and in no way as bad as we were made to believe during the heydays of punk rock! Besides, Frampton seems to be a decent bloke, with a more than reasonable outlook on life.

Below there´s a clip from Bert Sugarman´s legendary Midnight Special from 1975, where Frampton plays the rather nice Show Me The Way, with his signature talk box and all.

Ready to come out of the closet you too?

tp

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  1. NIce Web site . Excellent blog . Time is of the essence its running every day and every second .

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