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”
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.
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.
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”.