This was the album that proved to be the breakthrough for Peter Frampton in America. Frampton was released in early March 1975, just before Peter’s 25th birthday, as the fourth solo album by the former member of the Herd and Humble Pie.
Frampton entered the US album chart on 29 March and began a steady climb until it made No. 32, going on to spend over a year on the best seller list, helped in no small part by the release of Frampton Comes Alive in January 1976. Eventually the Frampton album was certified gold by the RIAA for 500,000 shipments on 13 September 1976.
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Frampton is a fascinating record of what was happening immediately before the English singer-guitarist’s solo career went stratospheric. The record features the original studio versions of the Comes Alive anthem ‘Show Me The Way’ and the ballad ‘Baby I Love Your Way,’ featured here in a medley with ‘Nassau.’
The Ronnie Lane connection
Recorded in late 1974 and early 1975 at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, using the mobile studio owned by Ronnie Lane of the Faces. Produced by Frampton himself, along with Chris Kimsey, it featured Frampton not only on lead guitar but piano, organ, acoustic guitar, bass on ‘Baby I Love Your Way’ and, of course, what became his trademark talkbox effect on ‘Show Me The Way.’
Now very much his own boss, as a frontman, Frampton wrote every track on the album, which featured his former Herd colleague Andy Bown playing bass, with John Siomos on drums. Peter’s lyrical and melodic playing is prominent throughout, highlights including the pretty ‘One More Time’ and reflective ‘The Crying Clown,’ which features Poli Palmer from Family on vibes. ‘Penny For Your Thoughts’ showed his dexterity for an acoustic instrumental.
Frampton also continued his steady US chart progress since starting his solo career. 1972’s Wind Of Change had reached No. 177 on the Billboard 200, after which Frampton’s Camel peaked at No. 110 in 1973. Then 1974’s Somethin’s Happening did almost as well at No. 125. Buoyed by the Comes Alive phenomenon, Frampton spent 64 weeks on the US chart.
Frampton can be bought here.
Follow the official Peter Frampton Best Of playlist.