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Tuesday, January 6, 1976

Frampton Comes Alive! released: January 6, 1976

Originally posted January 6, 2012.

image from westburymusicfair.org



“If you were challenged to name five rock albums that epitomized the ‘70s, Frampton Comes Alive! should probably top the list.” AZ After stints with Herd and Humble Pie, Frampton had ventured out on his own. He made “four solo albums with little commercial success.” WK It wasn’t until a collection of some of those tracks were recorded live “and released as Frampton Comes Alive! that he became a household name.” AZ In fact, there’s a joke in the movie Wayne’s World 2 that if you lived in the suburbs at the time, you were automatically issue the album. WK

It was recorded during the summer and fall of 1975, primarily at San Francisco’s Winterland venue and New York’s Long Island Arena. Recordings from four different shows went into the making of the album. WK Consequently, “one must take this all with a grain of salt as a concert document.” AMG Not only did work have to be done to splice the songs together into seemingly one show, but “there was considerable studio doctoring of the raw live tapes, a phenomenon that set the stage for such unofficial hybrid works as Bruce Springsteen’s Live/1975-85 and countless others.” AMG

When initially released, the album “was an anomaly, a multi-million-selling (mid-priced) double LP by an artist who had previously never burned up the charts with his long-players in any spectacular way. The biggest-selling live album of all time” AMG offered “buoyant pop, sentimental ballads, arena rock – this album has it all.” AZ

It’s easy to see why the album did so well. Frampton “packed one hell of a punch on-stage – where he was obviously the most comfortable – and, in fact, the live versions of Show Me the Way, Do You Feel Like I Do, Something’s Happening, Shine On, and other album rock staples are much more inspired, confident, and hard-hitting than the studio versions.” AMG




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