If you were to ask someone what album, in their opinion, is the best live rock album of all time, they might tell you one of the following: Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton, Alive by Pearl Jam, Reckoning by Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead.
Perhaps Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii would be mentioned.
No matter who you ask or what answer they give you, there are many reasons why this should be expected.
The live recording process often brings out the best in musicians as they are more energetic on stage than when in studio mode because it’s not just about them but also about their fans.
They don’t have to be in studio mode , they can be fully energized and they can simply rock out because they understand that what they are doing is for the enjoyment of their fans.
This is exactly what Peter Frampton did in 1975 by cutting his second live record “Frampton Comes Alive!”.
In my opinion, this was one of the most important live albums ever recorded because it also contained some of the most classic folky, pop tunes that were known at that time as well as some other songs like “Do You Feel Like We Do?” which didn’t make up a whole album but instead made up an integral part of Peter Frampton’s career.
The live album was released in October of 1975 and the songs that made up the album were all cover versions of the songs like “Do You Feel Like We Do?” (the song he wrote with Barry Gibb), “Baby I Love Your Way” from Little Richard, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” from Bob Dylan, “I Don’t Want To Dance Alone” by Sandy Shaw and others.
Peter Frampton may have thought that making this record would be enough to show his fans that along with being an electric guitarist, he was also an exceptional singer and songwriter.
1. The Spirit of the times
The spirit of the times was such that people would turn on the radio, go to illicit nightclubs for dancing and at home listen to the 8-track and eventually the cassette tapes until something new came along.
People loved rock music during this time because it reflected their lifestyle. It was loud, fast and rebellious which is what people wanted a part of during this time in history.
The spirit of the times brought out Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive!
2. The Number of People
The number of people who heard this album may have been a factor as to why it became so popular.
Many thousands bought the album and many thousands still talk about it today.
People from all over the world bought the album and so many copies of the record were sold that a presidential executive order was needed in order to exempt Peter Frampton from paying taxes on his earnings from Frampton Comes Alive! .
3. The Production Quality
The production quality on this album is what brought out the best in Peter Frampton as a musician.
The album was produced by Bob Ezrin and the other musicians who played on the record were the same musicians who had played on Frampton’s previous solo albums along with some songs from his band “Humble Pie”.
Peter Frampton has been said to have played drums, rhythm guitar and bass as well as lead vocals in order to get a live feel that he wanted for his record.
This led not only to a great album but also gave it a unique sound that no other live album had at the time of its release.
It is interesting to note that most of his songs were originally recorded in 1971 which is one year before this album was released.
4. The Intro
The intro on the album which is 1:18 of the three minute song “Baby I Love Your Way” was a little different that he had recorded it many times before because it allowed Frampton to introduce himself and his musical abilities as well as talk about his solo career and his band “Humble Pie”.
This intro could easily have been passed off as just an elaborate introduction but when combined with a great song it became an interesting part of the album that many people noticed and remarked on.
5. The Last Song
The last song on this album was “Do You Feel Like We Do?” which he had recorded in 1970 with his previous band “Humble Pie”.
The song was a little slower, a little softer and more folky than the other songs but it still had some great melodies and rock to it.
Peter Frampton did not want to leave his audience with a bad taste in their mouth so this song was the perfect way to end the record.
These are just some of the reasons why Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! has become an important part of people’s lives today and will continue to do so as long as they talk about music.