Flashback Album of the Week

Jeff Yerger

“Frampton Comes Alive,” starring guitar virtuoso Peter Frampton, is one of the greatest live albums of all time. It’s an album so exciting, so energetic and so fun to listen to, you won’t be able to resist. So strap on your air guitar and turn the volume up because it’s time to kick out the jams with Frampton.

Before this 1976 tour, Frampton’s solo career was progressing steadily, but it wasn’t anything special – and neither was the music. It was generally soft rock, which was a contrast to the hard rocking blues of Frampton’s former band, Humble Pie. The album title is very appropriate, because it is here where his music truly comes alive. It starts with the great show opener “Something’s Happening,” which contains a few melodic, yet thought-out solos.

Frampton has a unique style of soloing; influences of jazz, blues and funk make his solos sparkle and flow with such a crisp and clear tone. It is what makes this album such a blast to listen to. Songs like “It’s a Plain Shame,” “I Wanna Go to the Sun” and “I’ll Give You Money” showcase Frampton’s musicianship, hard-rock attitude and crowd-pleasing talent. “Lines On My Face” is a slow jam that breathes easy before Frampton erupts in an emotional and blistering solo, and “Show Me the Way” is another guitar-heavy song in which Frampton introduces his trademark “talk-box” sound.

But it isn’t always about loud rock for Frampton; during an acoustic set, Frampton brings the lights down low and shows off his songwriting skills in songs like “All I Want to Be Is By Your Side,” “Winds of Change” and “Penny For Your Thoughts.”

The closer, “Do You Feel Like We Do,” is a fun, rockin’ number that transforms what was once a slow, dull song into a dazzling crowd pleaser. Frampton takes the reigns on this song; the call-and-response talk-box solo during the breakdown is classic, and the only thing missing in the finale is fireworks. By the time the crowd fades out and the album ends, you’re going to wish you could go back to 1976 and experience the concert firsthand.