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Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton

Tenacity pays off. Timing helps. Peter Frampton broke from the Herd to join Humble Pie. He also contributed his talents to George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" album. By '71, Frampton was a solo act. It didn't look like a good move. The solo stuff stiffed, largely because it wasn't very good. Still, Frampton kept at it.

Finally, somebody at A&M Records thought it would be a good idea to put out a double live album by this failed mediocrity. With the onslaught of disco and not much happening in Rock, "Frampton Comes Alive" ('76) turned out to be the best selling double LP at the time. Once everyone experienced Frampton (alive or otherwise) he was done. There was no where to go. But just to provide a resounding end, his appearance in the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film, one of the worst films (musical or otherwise), finished his career in the short-term. Deservedly so.

In the early '80s, Frampton battled has-been status without a hope of recapturing a shard of his former success. A handful of forgettable albums did little to burnish his reputation. The '90s saw repackages including a career retrospective "Shine On" and even "Frampton Comes Alive II." Frampton's "Now" album, released in '03, offered a measure of redemption.

Peter Frampton Discography

It all comes down to "Frampton Comes Alive" ("Show Me The Way" and "Do You Feel Like I Do"). Peter Frampton's early solo material sounds wooden and uninspired. Later albums are forced and derivative. Despite the fact that it has been played into the ground and there are no surprises left, "Frampton Comes Alive" is one of those rare cases where a live performance eclipses the studio material.

Frampton's '80s work is even less compelling than his early solo albums. The repackages range from good ("Shine On") to why bother ("Comes Alive II")?

'03 release "Now" has some punch to it. "Flying Without Wings" has a great Blues shuffle feeling while "Love Stands Alone" moves and is moving. As a tribute, there's a cover of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which features an excellent Frampton solo.

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