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Old 07-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Peter Frampton's Reputation

I was watching an episode of "That 70s Show". If you don't know, it's a tv show that's set in the 70s. In this episode, a guitar signed by Peter Frampton is accidentally broken and later Steven Hyde, a rather rebellious 19-year-old refers to Frampton as "the talentless idiot that a million brainless teenage girls made a star".

I was taken aback, because I've listened to quite a bit of music and know my guitarists, and Peter Frampton is for me one of the very very best and most interesting (but then I also think that Eric Clapton is overrated).

I was wondering: is that how (some) male teens felt about Frampton in 1979? that he was something of a cute fraud good for clueless girls for whom posters are a big part of music?

On a side note, let me say that in any event a decade that has Peter freakin' Frampton as the mediocre musician that brainless girls adore is a hell of a decade...

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Old 07-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It depends of what side of his career you consider yourself a fan of: Humble Pie Peter Frampton or the 'Frampton Comes Alive' Peter Frampton.

Personally, I think 'Performance Rockin' the Fillmore' is one of the best live albums ever, but it's because of Humble Pie as a collective rather than Peter Frampton specifically.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It depends of what side of his career you consider yourself a fan of: Humble Pie Peter Frampton or the 'Frampton Comes Alive' Peter Frampton.

Personally, I think 'Performance Rockin' the Fillmore' is one of the best live albums ever ...
I like both Framptons, if it's all right. I also like that Humble Pie live album, but after so many years I've almost had my fill of bluesy (hard-)rock and appreciate those who try to do something else.

I'm not American, or English, and I was born after the 70s, but I suspect that the mere fact that "Frampton Comes Alive" sold so much (Peter Griffin from "Family Guy" is always saying: "Seriously, who doesn't own that album?") was enough to drive away a certain kind of fan. It's great hard rock, I don't see how it could be seen as a decline from Humble Pie (different though it is) or a sell-out. It's like Cream Clapton vs. Derek-And-The-Dominos Clapton: different. But I should say that I also don't much like Cream.

(If I may go off topic, I'd recommend Trower and Bruce's 2007 album "Seven Moons", which is for me ten times better than Cream.)

To me, in 2012, it's all new and I can appreciate it for what it is. "Something's Happening", "Doobie Wah" and maybe especially "Lines On My Face" are spectacular. Besides, they aren't kinds of songs that would appeal to a different audience from that of Humble Pie, are they. It's not as if they were pop. I mean, if the change of tone in FCA is enough to disturb fans, I expect those fans would despise some Steve Miller or everything ELO.

(I also recommend his much more recent rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"—where his Les Paul doesn't weep that gently but does other awesome things.)

I've rambled. Apologies.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Frampton is a hell of a guitarist. He was known as a guitarist well before a teeny-bopper magnet. People need to be reminded of that.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I spent some time in Cincinnati, where Frampton has a home. I always hoped I'd cross paths with someone who actually met him personally. Apparently he's a really personable guy.

I love his lesser-known tracks, like "I Got My Eyes On You" and "Something's Happening". Great stuff. It's been a long time.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In my opinion, he's under-rated.

Also, we should remember The Herd - good music, plus a hint of his future 70's Pin-Up status as a Teen Idol in The UK in the Late 60's, both worlds combined.

Humble Pie Frampton was great. I have Performance as well. Excellent musicianship all round, and a good starting point to introduce someone to the real reason why Frampton is well-regarded to those who know more than the 70's hits. A couple of the early Solo albums were alright.

He knew he still had the looks and took the moment to actually have his moment in the spotlight, but on the plus side there are moments on the Late 70's albums that showed that he still had some good songs despite the sappy "I'm In You" stuff that many choose to focus on. The sad thing was that the cover of Frampton Comes Alive was too iconic for those who wanted to dismiss him on face value alone and that I'm In You's cover was a bit of a mis-step, making him a very easy target for those who don't know the whole picture. Although the Love Song singles like "Baby I love Your Way" were smart picks for the Top 40, they remain the few songs many have heard.

A little while back, I got Breaking All the Rules, one of his Early 80's albums, and actually liking some of the songs, especially the title track. It was good that he went away from the Teen Pop image and back into some good solid Rock after the fame which showed his strengths. Not a full-on comeback in my opinion, but something that at least made the come-down from the maga stardom easier at least with a fine album.

He's a good showman with a great playing style. Not too much a listener, but I think that he should be more respected.

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by briangriffin View Post

I was wondering: is that how (some) male teens felt about Frampton in 1979? that he was something of a cute fraud good for clueless girls for whom posters are a big part of music?

On a side note, let me say that in any event a decade that has Peter freakin' Frampton as the mediocre musician that brainless girls adore is a hell of a decade...

BrianGriffin
As a kid back in the 70's, I can seriously say that it was a good guess that with his love songs like "I'm In You" and "Baby I Love Your Way" being very regular airplay favorites, it was an exaggeration of a popular opinion with the guys. Plus, he did some damage to the image with the posing in a Kimono. To guys who possibly never knew about his playing with The 'Pie or any of his early solo albums, that was the image although I'm certain that they knew he was very talented - the so-called crime was that he was singing songs for the women and having hits with them in the Top 40 while who they call "Real Musicians" never played the Teen Idol game.

As stated before, he already had a moment in the Teen Idol spotlight in the UK while in the Herd, it's a good guess that he possibly decided to take the chance to go worldwide with it while he had the chance in The 70's, while still trying to keep focus on his music among the madness. Sadly, his success turned him into someone too iconic of The 70's (Frampton Comes Alive being one of the MEGA mega-sellers of The 70's), it caused many not to look beyond the image of a few years.

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by briangriffin View Post
I was watching an episode of "That 70s Show". If you don't know, it's a tv show that's set in the 70s. In this episode, a guitar signed by Peter Frampton is accidentally broken and later Steven Hyde, a rather rebellious 19-year-old refers to Frampton as "the talentless idiot that a million brainless teenage girls made a star".
Well if you're watching That 70's Show then you can't take what is said too seriously because it is after all a comedy show. What I heard on VH1classic was that the record company messed up by cutting his tour short. They said he could had toured foever doing what he was doing but the recorded company rushed him back in the studio to record a new album and the killed his momentum - something like that.
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