Frampton Comes Alive!

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Frampton Comes Alive!
Live album by Peter Frampton
Released 6 January 1976 (US)
13 February 1976 (UK)
Recorded Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, CA, 13 June 1975
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, 14 June 1975
Long Island Arena, Commack, NY, 24 August 1975
SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY, 22 November 1975
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 78:06 (original album / 94:48 (2001 Deluxe Edition)
Label A&M/PolyGram Records
Producer Peter Frampton
Peter Frampton chronology
Frampton
(1975)
Frampton Comes Alive!
(1976)
I'm in You
(1977)

Frampton Comes Alive! is a double live album by English rock musician Peter Frampton released in 1976, and one of the best-selling live albums in the United States. Following four solo albums with little commercial success, Frampton Comes Alive! was a breakthrough for the artist.

Released on 6 January 1976, it debuted on the charts at 191. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 the week ending 10 April 1976, and was in the top spot for a total of 10 weeks. It was the best-selling album of 1976, selling over 6 million copies in the US and becoming one of the best-selling live albums to date, with estimated sales of 11 million worldwide.[1]

Frampton Comes Alive! was voted "Album of the year" in the 1976 Rolling Stone readers poll. It stayed on the chart for 97 weeks and was still No. 14 on Billboard's 1977 year-end album chart.

The most recognisable songs from the album are "Show Me the Way", "Baby, I Love Your Way", and "Do You Feel Like We Do", all of which were released as singles, and continue to receive much airplay on classic rock radio stations.

In January 2001, a 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the album was released, containing four additional tracks that were not included on the original version (although one of these was recorded in a radio studio as part of a broadcast, and does not form part of the main concert programme). The track sequence is also significantly different, to more accurately reflect the set list used in the original concerts. Frampton produced the completely remixed and extended album, and played an impromptu live performance with the original band from the album at Tower Records in Los Angeles to help promote the release.

Background and recording[edit]

The album was recorded in summer and fall 1975, primarily at Winterland in San Francisco and the Long Island Arena in Commack, New York, as well as a concert on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus in Plattsburgh, New York. The Winterland recordings were recorded on a 24 track master recorder. Other concerts were recorded on a 16 track recorder. Recordings from four different shows were used for the original album. Master tapes were recorded at 15 inches per second using professional Dolby "A" noise reduction.[2]

The live album was originally intended as a single LP disc, but at the suggestion of A&M Records additional shows were recorded and the album expanded to two LPs for release. On the special features for the "Live in Detroit" concert DVD, Frampton commented that some difficulty was encountered in the mixing after the cord to the bass drum mic got pulled, accidentally causing the mic to face at a 90-degree angle from the drum head. During the concerts, Frampton principally used a distinctive black custom Gibson Les Paul electric guitar (with three humbucking pick-ups as opposed to the usual two).[3]

The double album was released in the US with a special reduced list price of $7.98, only $1.00 more than the standard $6.98 of most single-disc albums in 1976. The album was pressed in "automatic sequence", with sides one and four on one record, followed by sides two and three on the other. This arrangement was intended to make it easier to listen through the whole album in sequence on automatic record changers.

Three hit singles were released from the album: "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Do You Feel Like We Do" and "Show Me the Way". The talk box guitar effect became strongly associated with Frampton when it was heard on the latter two singles. The "Do You Feel Like We Do" single version was edited to 7:19 from the 14:15 album version. But even at just over 7 minutes, it is about twice the length of the average hit single and one of the longest ever to make the top 40 (even The Beatles' "Hey Jude" ran 7:11). Ironically, the B-side of "Do You Feel Like We Do", the acoustic instrumental "Penny for Your Thoughts", was the shortest song on Frampton Comes Alive at just 1:23.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 starslink
Robert Christgau B− link

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Frampton except as noted. Timings are from the original LP release. Subsequent versions, such as CD versions, had different timings. This was likely decided by whoever mastered the CD and whether a track ended with the song itself or after applause following the song.

Side one
  1. "Introduction / Something's Happening" – 5:54
  2. "Doobie Wah" (Frampton, John Headley-Down, Rick Wills) – 5:28
  3. "Show Me the Way" – 4:42
  4. "It's a Plain Shame" – 4:21
Side two
  1. "All I Want to Be (Is by Your Side)" – 3:27
  2. "Wind of Change" – 2:47
  3. "Baby, I Love Your Way" – 4:43
  4. "I Wanna Go to the Sun" – 7:02
Side three
  1. "Penny for Your Thoughts" – 1:23
  2. "(I'll Give You) Money" – 5:39
  3. "Shine On" – 3:35
  4. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 7:45
Side four
  1. "Lines on My Face" – 7:06
  2. "Do You Feel Like We Do" (Frampton, Mick Gallagher, John Siomos, Rick Wills) – 14:15

25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc one
  1. "Introduction/Something's Happening" – 5:56
  2. "Doobie Wah" (Frampton, Rick Wills, John Headley-Down) – 5:43
  3. "Lines on My Face" – 6:59
  4. "Show Me the Way" – 4:32
  5. "It's a Plain Shame" – 4:03
  6. "Wind of Change" – 2:57
  7. "Just the Time of Year" – 4:21
    • Available only on the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
  8. "Penny for Your Thoughts" – 1:34
  9. "All I Want to Be (Is By Your Side)" – 3:08
  10. "Baby, I Love Your Way" – 4:41
  11. "I Want to Go to the Sun" – 7:15
Disc two
  1. "Nowhere's Too Far (For My Baby)" – 4:49
    • Available only on the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
  2. "(I'll Give You) Money" – 5:46
  3. "Do You Feel Like We Do" (Frampton, Mick Gallagher, John Siomos, Wills) – 13:46
  4. "Shine On" – 3:29
  5. "White Sugar" – 4:43
    • Available only on the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
  6. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 7:40
  7. "Day's Dawning/Closing" – 3:34
    • Available only on the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1976 US Billboard 200 1
Canadian RPM 100 1
UK Album chart 6

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Baby, I Love Your Way" US Pop Singles 12
UK Pop Singles 43
"Do You Feel Like We Do" US Pop Singles 10
UK Pop Singles 39
"Show Me the Way" US Pop Singles 6
UK Pop Singles 10

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA – US Gold 27 February 1976
Platinum 8 April 1976
BPI – UK Gold 1 September 1976
RIAA – US 6x Platinum 14 November 1984
RIAA – US 8x Platinum 2 August 2011

References[edit]

Preceded by
Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) by Eagles
Billboard 200 number-one album
10 April 1976 – 16 April 1976
24 July 1976 – 30 July 1976
14 August 1976 – 3 September 1976
11 September 1976 – 15 October 1976
Succeeded by
Wings at the Speed of Sound by Wings