Wednesday, January 6, 2016

40 Year Itch : Frampton Comes Alive!

  "Exqueese me? Have I seen this one before? Frampton Comes Alive!? Everybody's got Frampton Comes Alive!. If you lived in the suburbs, you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of Tide." 
- Wayne Campbell, Wayne's World 2 (1993)

      The success of Frampton Comes Alive, released on January 6, 1976,  is proof that nice guys can sometimes finish first. None of his previous albums had sold beyond the 200,000 mark. The live double album sold six million copies, provided the soundtrack for the bicentennial summer,  and became 1976's top selling album in the US. It was even the top selling live album of all time until Bruce Springsteen's Live/1975-85 album eclipsed it with sales of 13 million.
   Unfortunately, Frampton's bland persona could not hold his audience's attention. He followed the live album with 1977's  I'm In You and by appearing in the much ridiculed 1978 movie Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Within 18 months he vanished from our collective radar.
  Do we think Peter Frampton -- at least once in his life--announced in the midst of a sexual climax "Frampton comes alive!"?

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