Peter Frampton’s cult status changed rather quickly when the singer’s 1976 two record live set entitled Frampton Comes Alive began to break all previous sales records. The album stands as a cultural breakthrough in the arts as the entertainment business began to recognize the benefits of mass cultural marketing and success.
The unbelievable commercial success of Frampton Comes Alive must have been difficult for Peter Frampton. Having to follow-up an album that had become the biggest selling album of all time was no easy feat. Frampton’s follow-up album I’m In you proved to be another commercial success. Yet, critics panned the album as a sell out because of its very pop oriented single “I’m In You.”
The critical failure of the motion picture Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band based on the Beatles album that’s starred Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees’s must have also took a toll on Peter Frampton. Nonetheless, artists as brilliant as Peter Frampton always find their way back to the heart and soul that defined their art in the first place. Over a 40 plus years career, Peter Frampton has continued to tour and release great rock records of substance. Choosing only ten songs from a career like Peter Frampton’s is really just an exercise in fun and subjectivity that can change on the hour.
# 10 – Lying
Opening up our Top 10 Peter Frampton Songs list is the great track “Lying.” The song was released on Peter Frampton’s album Premonition. The album was released in 1986. The album featured the great Tony Levin of King Crimson fame on bass. It also featured Omar Hakim on drums who had played in Sting’s band and was also known as one of the greatest jazz drummers in the business.
# 9 – Blooze
Not only is Peter Frampton known as one of the coolest songwriters and singers in the rock and roll business, Frampton’s great guitar work has also been well respected by many of the industry giants. In 2006, Peter Frampton released his first all instrumental album. It was a smoking killer guitar record that showed off just how great of a guitar player Peter Frampton had always been. On this great track “Blooze,” Peter Frampton trades licks with the great blues player, Allman Brothers guitarist and Gov’t Mule founder Warren Haynes.
# 8 – I Can’t Stand It No More
The great track “I Can’t Stand It No More,” was released on the 1979 album Where I Should Be. The album title said it all in defining Peter Frampton desire to shun the commercial pop world of “I’m In You,” and find his way back to more guitar oriented rock songs. The album Where I Should Be featured a host of some of the most famous musicians in classic rock history. On guitar and bass were the legendary Stax Records artists and blues and soul men (Blues Brothers too) Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn. Gary Malabar who had played a major role in the Steve Miller Band and also recorded with Bruce Springsteen, played drums on the record. To top it all off, Peter Frampton also employed the Tower of Power horn section on the album.
# 7 – All I Want To Be (Is by your side)
As we make our way through this Peter Frampton songs list, the shadow of the huge Frampton Comes Alive album plays a significant role in our choices. Many fans who brought that live album actually preferred some of the studio tracks to the live recordings. “All I Want To Be (Is by your side),” was released on the live album and his first album Winds Of Change. We have chosen the studio recording for this list.
# 6 – Day In The Sun
As we approach the half way point on this Peter Frampton songs list, we want to make sure that we pay homage to some of the great music that Peter Frampton released in the 1990’s. One of our favorite Peter Frampton albums was a record he released in 1994 simply entitled Peter Frampton. The great track “Day In The Sun,” opened up what was a magnificent album.
# 5 – Lines On My Face
Another great track from the live album was also released on one of Peter Frampton early solo albums. One of our favorite Peter Frampton ballads was the beautiful song “Lines On My Face.” The song was originally released on Peter Frampton’s second solo album Frampton’s Camel. The first four Peter Frampton albums had a certain intimacy to their sound. Peter Frampton;s vocals always sounded as if he were singing in his living room. There was never any sort of abuse of reverb or other special effects on the vocals. It was all so natural sounding.
# 4 – Show Me The Way / Baby I Love Your Way
Okay, we tried to stay away from the hits in this Peter Frampton songs list, but these two Peter Frampton songs were so big and paved the way for the success of the live album that we just could not ignore them. Try to remember the first time you heard them, not the millionth time. The studio versions were great, but it’s the live album versions that changed Peter Frampton’ world.
# 3 – It’s A Plain Shame
We just can’t ignore this album. One of the heaviest tracks from the record was the great live version of “It’s A Plain Shame.” Frampton cooks on this one. The song “It’s a Plain Shame,” closed side one of the live album. It followed the track “Show Me The Way,” and served as a pure heavy rock and roll response to the pop sensibilities of the albums lead-off single.
# 2 – Do You Feel Like We Do(Live)
In the 1970’s there were artists that released live albums that contained live tracks of studio recordings that blew away the studio versions. Songs that define that argument would be the live version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane,” The Outlaws “Green Grass and High Tides Forever,” Foghat’s “Fool For The City,” and of course Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do.” The album version of “Do You Feel Like We Do,” clocked in at over fourteen minutes. Yet, the record company was still willing to release the song as a single and cut it down to around seven minutes. Even at seven minutes the song was still almost twice as long as most pop singles. However the album was on fire and “Do You Feel Like We Do,” was such a great recording, the record company could not help but release the song as a single.
# 1 – (I’ll Give You) Money
It’s not easy to choose a song to land at the top of a list like the top 10 Peter Frampton Songs list. It just comes down to subjectivity. This great track just had everything we love about Peter Frampton songs. Smoking guitar licks, killer vocals, and of course a great song. So at least for today, “I’ll Give You Money,” is our choice to land in the number one spot on our top 10 Peter Frampton Songs list. Yesterday it was “Do You Feel Like We Do,” last week it was “Lines On My Face.” Next week it may be a track not even on this list. That’s the beauty of it all. What’s yours?
Updated Nov 8, 2020