We are sure that most of you readers are familiar with Peter Frampton's hit "Show Me the Way".
What’s more, we’re willing to bet that the vast majority of you, were not at all familiar with its studio version, but only with the live one.
So how do you know when a certain live album is a great one?
We have already written and talked about it many times. In our opinion, one of the factors that makes a great live album is the fact that one will always prefer to listen to the live version of a particular song, rather than the studio version.
This happens to us with a large portion of the songs on Peter Frampton's excellent double live album "Frampton Comes Alive!", released in the US on January 6, 1976.
Peter Frampton gives his heart and soul in this magnificent live performance. He manages to communicate with the audience in an amazing way and the audience of course respond with great enthusiasm. Frampton reached an incredible level of communication with the audience after a long period of hard work on stage and the roads, in clubs, and later in the big halls, first as a warm-up for bands like "Black Sabbath", "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" and more, later as the main artist. Frampton noted that he agreed to serve as a warm-up for anyone who offered to perform with him and managed to fill halls and maybe that is how he build such a great audience that makes the added value of this album.
So for those unfamiliar, Frampton began his musical career, when he was only 14 years old, as a member of "The Preachers", which was managed and produced by Bill Wyman - "Rolling Stones" bass player.
By the time he was 18, he had already joined Steve Marriott from the "Small Faces" and the two formed "Humble Pie".
In parallel with his work with "Humble Pie", Frampton served as a sought-after session player for top artists such as Donovan, Harry Nilsson, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Entwistle, and more. One of his highlights as a session player was in 1970, when he played acoustic guitar on George Harrison's masterpiece album "All Things Must Pass".
After 4 studio albums and one live album with "Humble Pie", Frampton left the band in 1971, signed a recording contract with "A&M" and began his solo career. His debut album "Wind of Change" from 1972 featured no less than Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr, and Billy Preston. But despite this for 4 years he did not manage to break out as a solo artist, until this masterful live album.
Frampton was a "stage animal". his live shows sold excellently, but his albums were much less. This led him to the decision that he wanted to release a live album, in which he will try to transfer the "electricity" in the air during his live performances. The record company recognized the potential and even persuade him to release a double live album. It consists of performances by Frampton in several venues in the United States during the summer and fall of 1975.
This is without a doubt one of Rock's greatest live albums, so it's really not surprising that it's also become one of the best-selling live albums of all time, with sales of over 11 million copies.
This album stayed on the US charts for 10 consecutive weeks and became the best-selling album in 1976. Think about it, it's a double Live album that becomes the best-selling album of the year 1976 in the US.
What’s more, this album has released three singles: yes, yes, a live album that has produced three successful singles. One of them is "Do You Feel Like We Do" which was stretched in its live version to over 14 minutes, with some of the most impressive guitar work proving that Frampton is a guitarist of supreme grace.
The album features tremendous and memorable live versions of songs like: "Show Me the Way", "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Shine On", the amazing cover version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and more.
And how can one write about this album without mentioning Frampton's "talking guitar" - the 1954 Gibson Les Paul that has undergone a change and includes three double pickups.
Frampton also uses the "talk-box" effect perfectly, especially in the "Show Me the Way" hit single. This effect will later be adorned with songs like: "Pigs (Three Different Ones" by "Pink Floyd", "Livin 'on a Prayer" and "It's My Life" by "Bon Jovi" and more. It's not that no one did it before him, but Frampton just managed to build the songs around the effect in such a great way that made it identify with him.