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1976 – Part 4.1: Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive!

Its listed as one of the definitive live albums ever.

“Frampton Comes Alive!” was released in 1976. It’s weird how his trajectory is so similar to Kiss. Following four solo albums with little commercial success, “Frampton Comes Alive!” was a breakthrough for Frampton, the same way “Alive” was for Kiss.

The album is mostly live except for the first verse of “Something’s Happening”, the rhythm electric guitar on “Show Me the Way” and the intro piano on “I Wanna Go to the Sun”. These were fixed in the studio.

In a genius marketing move, the double album was released in the US with a reduced list price of $7.98, only $1.00 more than the standard $6.98 of most single-disc albums in 1976.

And the band is on fire.

Peter Frampton is on Vocals, Lead guitar, but Bob Mayo fills up a lot of the space with his Rhythm Guitar work, plus he plays the Piano and Hammond Organ. Stanley Sheldon on Bass Guitar and John Siomos on Drums provide a solid foundation.

There is crowd noise, fake or real, I’m not sure and the GM of Winterland, Jerry Pompili starts off the concert with the words “If there was ever a musician who was an honorary member of San Francisco society, Mr. Peter Frampton”

Somethings Happening

The blues rock groove is clichéd and heard in many different songs, but it’s always cool to hear it.

This track and the next are from the “Something’s Happening” album released in 1974.

Doobie Wah

It follows on from the blues rock groove from the opening song. And with Doobie in the title, it does sound like Doobie Brothers.

Show Me The Way

From the “Frampton” album released in 1975.

When people talk about talk-boxes, this is the song that was listed as the definitive talk-box song, until an Italian American called Richie Sambora changed the game with “Livin On A Prayer”.

Musically, its excellent, a strummed guitar progression, a hooky vocal melody and that talk-box melodic lead.

It’s a Plain Shame

A blues rock dirge from the “Wind of Change” album released in 1972.

At this point in the set, it sounds okay and fresh.

All I Want to Be (Is by Your Side)

The album goes into ballad rock territory for the next three songs. This one is from the album “Wind of Change” released in 1972.

Wind of Change

An acoustic folk rock song.

Baby, I Love Your Way

From the “Frampton” album released in 1975.

It’s a song that I’ve heard on radio and TV commercials and movies and when I heard it here, I was like, ahhh, it’s from Frampton.

The song flopped when it was released in 1975, but it took on a new life when it was released as a single from this live album a year later.

I Wanna Go to the Sun

From the “Somethin’s Happening” album released in 1974, it could have come from any Southern Rock album released at the time. And Frampton is wailing away throughout the song in various solo spotlight moments.

Penny for Your Thoughts

The shortest track here at 1:23 and along with the next track are from the “Frampton” album released in 1975. It’s one of those major key finger picked campfire tunes. It doesn’t sound like “Albatross” from Fleetwood Mac, however it has this feel.

(I’ll Give You) Money

From the album “Frampton”, released in 1975 and its back to the hard blues rock.

I dig the “Stormbringer” and “Mississippi Queen” feel in the song. And 80’s Y&T comes to mind when I listen to this.

Check it out.

Shine On

From the “Rock On” album released in 1971. The blues rock dirge is sounding too much same/same.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

A Rolling Stones cover which was released on “Wind of Change” from 1972 and given the 7 minute live treatment here. .

Lines on My Face

From the “Frampton’s Camel” album released in 1973. The fingerpicked clean tone intro hooks me. It’s very Eagles like when they played Folk Rock.

Do You Feel Like We Do

From “Frampton’s Camel” album released in 1973. The 14 minute closer of the album.

The intro riff will grab ya straight away. It’s Santana like, its bluesy and its rocking. But that whole section in the middle is unnecessary.

In Australia it charted to the top spot and was certified 3x Platinum. In the U.S, it also went to Number 1 and is certified 8x Platinum.

There is a theory that this album became so big in 1976, because the year was insignificant when it came to rock music and most of the artists who had fame prior to 76 had either stalled their careers with drugs or breakups or if they were still together they were running on fumes.

And Frampton never captured this glory again and the subsequent albums didn’t do anything great either.

It’s because his face and looks got more time than his guitar skills. Suddenly, his audience was more female than male and his musical credibility was questioned. All of those years honing his guitar chops and song writing abilities were ignored by a vicious press who saw him as a disposable teenage idol.

And while this was happening, he was hooked on morphine and his manager was ripping him off, leaving him bankrupt, along with a terrible decision to star in a film version of “Sgt Pepper” and to pose a certain way for the album cover of the follow up, “I’m In You”.


18 thoughts on “1976 – Part 4.1: Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive!

  1. Oh I can’t remember what the concert was called, but I watched part of a Peter Frampton concert on AXS TV about a month or two ago and I couldn’t believe it was the same guy! He looks unrecognizable without the curly blonde hair and the average wardrobe. While Peter Frampton is quite good on the talk box, I’m biased towards Richie and I’d like to keep it that way, lol!

      • Heck yeah!

        By the way, I’m just curious do you think Richie leaving Bon Jovi was a mistake? Considering that Bon Jovi is a complete joke now because Jon can’t sing anymore. Also with Jon’s personality, I’m not totally against the idea of Richie not being in the band anymore, but still. Plus he didn’t do much since he left.

      • I think it was a good decision for Sambora to leave.
        He toured on Aftermath which is what he wanted to do before Jovi put the brakes on it. Then he did that RSO stuff with Orianthi. He did one of songs for special events and special appearances.

      • Wow, it’s kind of refreshing hearing a different perspective on this situation. I assumed everyone thought that Richie made a mistake leaving the band since most of the youtube comments I’ve seen say that there is no Bon Jovi without Richie.

        Yes, I’m glad he got to tour and promote ‘Aftermath of the Lowdown,’ especially since that album was so good. I’m not a fan of his stuff with Orianthi, actually I think it was a step back for him. What is your take on the RSO thing?

      • There’s some good stuff on it.

        Here’s the thing. I like Sambora as an artist and I like Orianthi as well. But when they got together to create music, who gets to shine more. And the answer there is no one.

        So we got 3 min tracks that sounded uninspired which was strange to hear from two artists who put so much passion and soul into their playing.

      • I couldn’t have said it better myself! Richie and Orianthi are both amazing musicians, but they don’t go well together. The music from RSO is too ordinary. Richie and Orianthi don’t get to shine really. When they do their own thing, they know how to rock. Together, not so much.

        Do you think Richie should rejoin Bon Jovi? Just curious. I kind of don’t want him to because of the joke they became, thanks to Jon’s ego. But what do you think? Or maybe he should start a new project and release that dang studio album he’s been working on with Bob Rock for the past two years.

      • I think Sambora would do a special Jovi return as Jon knows it’s a great ticket price increase and promoters will pay more.

        Slippery at 40 2026.. lol.

        And that solo album. Please get it out…

      • Yeah I’ve read a few articles that said Sambora would come back if it’s for a special occasion. I still believe that Jon should just quit and get Richie to be the new frontman since Jon can’t sing anymore and Richie brings that rock vibe that the band has been lacking in recent years. Even with the country album and ‘The Circle,’ there were still some rocking moments on those albums. Even if it doesn’t make sense to get rid of Jon, since Bon Jovi is his last name, I really don’t care cause I can’t stand the guy. What do you think?

        2026? Ha, I’m not even sure if Jon will be able to speak by then. He can barely sing now.

        Yesss, Richie if you’re listening, release the dang album already! We’re not getting any younger. Don’t make us wait 14 years for another studio album, like with ‘Aftermath of the Lowdown’!

  2. This album brought those songs to life. I love this one and one of the best live albums ever. But, you are right…this was it. He didn’t get much recognition with any other release unlike Kiss. Must have for everyone’s collection if you collect vinyl.

  3. This was in every vinyl collection way back when. I think I wound up with two copies of it when I was a teen, my older relatives were all like “oh you have to have this.” He did certainly define his career with this album.

  4. Doobie Wah and It’s a Plain Shame are great tracks. Frampton hit a grand slam with this record and goes to show you how finicky the buying market can be at times. Course making the SGT Peppers Movie didn’t help his cause. lol
    I just read in Rock Candy that back around 1990 Larry Mazer who was managing KISS and Cinderella at the time along with Kalodner was trying to put Frampton into a band situation like Humble Pie.
    One of the guys they tried to hook Frampton up was Dave Meneketti who turned them down. Ouch!

    • Man i would have liked to hear a collab between Frampton and Meneketti. Meneketti did work with Ronnie Montrose with Y&T so Frampton would have been a great collab. And you can hear the Montrose penned songs with Meneketti and Kennemore on Unvaulted V2.

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