Framptonstein’s Alive! (GDLIYWI) 27

I was going start growing bonsai trees as a hobby but they are so expensive! 
So I got a normal tree instead and just planted it further away.

So how does one approach an album that had 8 million sales in the US alone, 11 million worldwide? An album that everybody in the world had? An album, that if you lived in tbe suburbs, came in the mail with samples of ‘Tide’? (thanks Wayne). After leaving Humble Pie in 1971 and after four poorly selling solo records, guitar whiz and bloke that didn’t know how to button up a shirt, Peter Frampton released what would be a huge monster of a live album: Frampton Comes Alive! an album that stayed on the charts for 97 weeks! This record was always a bigger success in the States than in the UK (where it sold 100,000 copies) and I can’t recall growing up listening to this nor did I know anyone who had it. I’d already heard, and raved, about Frampton’s guitar work with Humble Pie and knew a couple of songs from this album so I was curious to hear the whole record. Is it still alive after 40 years?

Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes

Considering its history, and mythos, I was expecting to be blown away and amazed at this huge, career-defining record but as the first two sides plodded on, I was just left deflated. For the most part, the songs on here are kinda bland; there’s some really nice guitar work on Doobie Wah (is it meant to sound like the Doobie Bros? Is the title ironic?) It’s A Plain Shame and I Wanna Go To The Sun (despite the awful lyrics: “salty air, seagulls everywhere!”) but the rest of the songs are really bland, AOR FM rock guff that just didn’t tickle my fancy. I was not looking forward for the second half of this album. However, after a brief acoustic number, the album kicks into gear with (I’ll Give You) Money; maybe because they finally turned the guitar’s volume up, maybe because it borrows the riff from the Who’s The Seeker, either way it piqued my interest in this endeavour. The songs on the latter part are definitely more heavier and rockier and Peter’s guitar playing is on point and the band seem more engaged than the first half. I like what they do with their cover of Jumping Jack Flash, slowing it slightly and giving it more bluesy/jazzy feel (it sounds better than the way I’m describing it). The epic Do You Feel Like We Do, talk box and all, ends this record on a pretty high note considering it started off so weakly. Hey, I just realised what the title means: Frampton comes alive in the second half of the album!

So is it excessive? Not really. There’s only one long song out of the fourteen on offer here and it pretty engaging. Would I listen to it again? The second half most definitely but I’d probably skip the first half. Would I recommend it? Not really, if you wanna hear Frampton live, I’d recommend the Humble Pie record. This is OK but only the second half of FCA! is worth listening to. Is there a drum solo? No, but there is some tasty talk-box work on here.

I’m giving this a 5. As mentioned, the second half of the album is a lot more fun and engaging than the first and that’s what the points are awarded for. I fail to see, or hear, what was so special about this record or what this such a monster success. That’s the wonder of the mid-seventies, I guess! On deck next: GDLIYWI favourites the Grateful Dead make their fourth appearance on here! What will those wacky, happy-go-lucky, ragamuffin hippies delight us with this time? Stay tuned! TTFN

Published by labarbaazul8067

I'm just a creature from the heap so excuse my savage ignorance.

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