Peter Frampton (born in 1950 in Kent, England) is an English rock singer-songwriter and musician known for his hits “Show Me The Way”, “Baby I Love Your Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do”, and also for his hit live albumFrampton Comes Alive! As a teenager he played in various rock groups (including one band whose one of the members was Frampton’s friend David Bowie) until he joined the The Herd and then Humble Pie. Frampton decided to go solo, and after working with other musicians like Harry Nilsson and George Harrison before releasing his first album Wind Of Change in 1972. He subsequently released three more albums, which Frampton had promoted on his live shows. These shows transformed into a 1976 double live album Frampton Comes Alive! which yielded three hit singles “Show Me The Way”, “Baby I Love Your Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do”. The album was his breakthrough hit and still remains Frampton’s highlight of his career. Alongside the Bee Gees, Earth, Wind and Fire and other artists, Frampton starred in a rock musical film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which bombed at the box office. Then he figured in a near-fatal vehicular accident that forced him to leave the limelight for the moment, contributing to a decline in his erstwhile popularity.
After a relative silence in the 1980s, Frampton came out with a successful eponymous 1994 album, which was followed by another live album Frampton Comes Alive the following year, signalling a successful that not only endeared him again to his longtime fans but also found a new generation of fans. Frampton Comes Alivecelebrated its 25th anniversary in 2001, and since then he has released newer material such as Now in 2003, Fingertips in 2006 and 2010’sThank You Mr. Churchill.
Early life and career
Peter Kenneth Frampton was born in Kent, England on April 22, 1950. When he was a kid he already displayed an interest in music and started to practice guitar. Soon he was practicing classical lessons. Among his earliest influences were Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Buddy Holly and The Beatles.
He studied at Bromley Technical School, where his father used to teach. David Bowie was also a student at that school, and Frampton’s band would play alongside Bowie’s own band The Dragons. Then he moved to another band called the Trubeats, and next The Preachers, the latter being managed by The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman.
Frontman of The Herd, and founder of Humble Pie
Soon Frampton, only in his teens at that time, became the lead singer and guitarist for the group The Herd. The group achieved big hits such as “From the Underworld,” “Paradise Lost,” and “I Don’t Want Our Loving to Die;” all of them were hits on the UK Top 20.
When he was 18, Frampton left The Herd to form his own band Humble Pie, along with Steve Marriott. The blues-based rock band achieved their biggest hit with their first charting single “Natural Born Bugie” in 1969 which peaked at #4 on the UK singles chart.
Also around this time he also did session work with other musicians, among them George Harrison (for his All Things Must Pass album), Nilsson (for his Son of Schmilsson album), and The Who’s John Entwistle (Whistle Rhymes album)
Frampton later launched his solo career in 1972 with his debut album Wind Of Change, whose guest performers included Ringo Starr and Billy Preston (the keyboardist famously known as a guest performer in the Beatles’ last film Let It Be).
Frampton followed his first album with Frampton’s Camel (1973), Somethin’s Happening (1974), and Frampton (1975), the last which became Frampton’s first gold-certified album. Other than that, all of his earliest releases attained little commercial success.
Breakthrough success with Frampton Comes Alive!
Then the course of his career dramatically changed when he released Frampton Comes Alive! in 1976. The album was recorded in the summer and fall in 1975, in San Francisco and New York. The live album gave Frampton his biggest commercial breakthrough, selling eight million copies in the US alone and peaking at #1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart.
Frampton Comes Alive! spawned three hits “Show Me the Way” (#6 US Billboard Hot 100), “Baby I Love Your Way” (at #12) and “Do You Feel Like We Do” (at #10). The dominance of Frampton Comes Alive! and its singles on the Billboard charts led to Frampton being named Artist of the Year by both Billboard and Rolling Stone.
Subsequent projects, and car accident
The success of Frampton Comes Alive! made Peter Frampton a major star. He followed this up with I’m In You, his fifth studio album in 1975. It featured the title track which became his most successful single, reaching its peak position at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another single off the album “Signed, Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours)” became another Top 20 hit, peaking at #18 on the same chart.
By the end of the 1970s, his star began to fade. Frampton’s last Top 20 Billboard pop hit was “I Can’t Stand It No More” (at #14) from his 1979 album Where I Should Be.
The year earlier, he starred in a Beatles-inspired musical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which was produced and also starred by the Bee Gees. Despite the all-star cast (that included Aerosmith and Earth, Wind and Fire), the movie became a critical and commercial disaster.
Frampton confronted the biggest challenge in his life when he had a near-fatal car accident in the Bahamas in 1978.
Frampton’s life after the accident, and later career
After the accident, Frampton’s career never regained its old luster. His subsequent albums were less successful than its predecessors; nevertheless, Frampton continued to be visible, albeit working sporadically, in the music business. He had a minor comeback with 1981’s Breaking All the Rules and 1986’s Premonition, both of which charted high enough on the Billboard 200.
Frampton appeared on the public spotlight again by joining his longtime friend David Bowie in the latter’s Glass Spider tour. The event was recorded and then released on video format in 1988.
In 1995, Frampton released the follow up to his most successful album Frampton Comes Alive! with Frampton Comes II where he re-connected to his old followers as well as attracted a new generation of rock fans. He also toured with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr & The All-Star Band.
In 2007, Frampton won his first Grammy for his album Fingerprints (in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album). In 2010, he released his latest studio album Thank You Mr. Churchill, which peaked at #154 on the Billboard 200 album chart.