Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive! (1976): Review

Label – A&M
Producer – Peter Frampton

In the bizarre world of Rock and Roll, certain “feats” are created which defy all logic. “Frampton Comes Alive!” generally leads to healthy contemplation and discussion over the merits of the live recording. Many would argue that they’re vital in encapsulating the crystal essence of the artist and form an integral part of the back catalogue. Others would say that they’re generally ill conceived, badly put together, and merely gap fillers to release during creative dry up or contractual obligation. The reason for the mention of the word feat at the beginning of this review is to directly reference the unanimous and unbelievable success of Peter Frampton’s 4th release. Having enjoyed modest success with previous bands Humble Pie and The Herd, Guitarist Frampton turned solo with hardly a flutter of commercial excitement in the record stores. Recorded mainly at The Winterland in San Francisco during 1975, “Frampton Comes Alive!” incredibly sold 16 million copies worldwide and remains the second biggest live album of all time behind Bruce Springsteen’s compilation album from 1985.

There’s a general sunshine spirit bleached through this double album, with a distinct West coast warmth that transcends ordinary album tracks and moderate rock workouts into bright, confident and tight souvenirs. The 14 songs perfectly cross his full repertoire, from the jaunty “Something’s Happening”, the classy AOR of “Show Me The Way”, the gentle acoustic “All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)”, the harder rocking “I Wanna Go To The Sun” and “Do You Feel Like We Do?.” Each song is enhanced by Frampton’s sweet vocals, the synthesis of his well versed backing band, some amazing Guitar virtuosity and the crowd noise which seems to elicit genuine excitement for every performance. Great late night music, and still no mention of the infamous talkbox which makes an appearance on just a couple of tracks.

16 million fans can’t be wrong, and even though there’s an unfashionable notion to heralding adult Rock albums from the mid seventies, “Frampton Comes Alive!” may not be a life affirming classic, but it’s still damn good.


A1 Something’s Happening 5:54
A2 Doobie Wah 5:28
A3 Show Me the Way 4:42
A4 It’s a Plain Shame 4:21
B1 All I Wanna Be (Is by Your Side) 3:27
B2 Wind of Change 2:47
B3 Baby, I Love Your Way 4:43

B4 I Wanna Go to the Sun 7:02
C1 Penny for Your Thoughts 1:23
C2 (I’ll Give You) Money 5:19
C3 Shine On 3:35
C4 Jumpin’ Jack Flash 7:45
D1 Lines of My Face 7:06
D2 Do You Feel Like We Do 14:15


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