Monday, December 10, 2012

When the music comes alive: Peter Frampton

I was looking through a list of "Rolling Stone's Top 25 Best Live Albums of All Time," and with any list like that there's sure to be something that music fans disagree with or see missing, and they're sure to say something about it.

That was how it was with this particular list.  Oh, there were some great ones in the list.  What was interesting was how many comments there were about one particular album that didn't make it.

"Where’s Frampton? Are you kidding? You can’t leave him off, he was too much a part of our times ..."

" ... where the HELL is frampton comes alive?"

"Frampton Comes Alive = #1"

Yeah, it goes like that.

It's pretty much impossible to please everyone in subjective things like this, and many  people could and would argue that -- for various reasons -- there are better live albums than Peter Frampton's "Frampton Comes Alive."

But it's hard to argue with the "popular vote," and Frampton's breakthrough solo live album (after a few less-than-successful studio recordings coming on the heels of his time with the band Humble Pie) was huge in terms of sales and time spent on the charts:  the album spent 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts; it was the best-selling album of 1976, selling over 6 million copies in the U.S. and became one of the best-selling live albums to date; it was voted "album of the year" in the 1976 Rolling Stone readers poll; it stayed on the chart for 97 weeks and was still #14 on Billboard's 1977 year-end album chart.

It was an album that turned Frampton into a household name, made him a movie star, and even today you never know when you might find Frampton showing up in a television commercial.

And it all started with "Frampton Comes Alive."

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