Frampton’s Camel – live at The Paris Theatre, London – Recorded for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert Series – August 23, 1972 – BBC Radio 1 –
Peter Frampton this weekend. Just prior to his sensational breakout album, in concert at The BBC’s Paris Theatre in London and recorded for the In Concert series on August 23, 1972.
Peter Frampton was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and the Herd. After the end of his ‘group’ career, as a solo artist, Frampton released several albums including his international breakthrough album, the live release Frampton Comes Alive!. The album sold more than 8 million copies in the United States and spawned several hit singles.
After four studio albums and one live album with Humble Pie, Frampton left the band and went solo in 1971, just in time to see Rockin’ the Fillmore rise up the US charts.
His own debut was 1972’s Wind of Change, with guest artists Ringo Starr and Billy Preston. This album was followed by Frampton’s Camel in 1973, which featured Frampton working within a group project. In 1974, Frampton released Somethin’s Happening. Frampton toured extensively to support his solo career, joined for three years by his former Herd mate Andy Bown on keyboards, Rick Wills on bass, and American drummer John Siomos. In 1975, the Frampton album was released. The album went to No. 32 in the US charts, and is certified Gold by the RIAA.
Peter Frampton had little commercial success with his early albums. This changed with Frampton’s best-selling live album, Frampton Comes Alive!, in 1976, from which “Baby, I Love Your Way”, “Show Me the Way”, and an edited version of “Do You Feel Like We Do”, were hit singles. The latter two tracks also featured his use of the talk box guitar effect. The album was recorded in 1975, mainly at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California, where Humble Pie had previously enjoyed a good following. Frampton had a new line-up, with Americans Bob Mayo on keyboards and rhythm guitar and Stanley Sheldon on bass. Wills had been sacked by Frampton at the end of 1974, and Bown had left on the eve of Frampton Comes Alive, to return to England and new fame with Status Quo. Frampton Comes Alive was released in early January, debuting on the charts on 14 February at number 191. The album was on the Billboard 200 for 97 weeks, of which 55 were in the top 40, of which 10 were at the top. The album beat, among others, Fleetwood Mac’s Fleetwood Mac to become the top selling album of 1976, and it was also the 14th best seller of 1977. With sales of eight million copies it became the biggest selling live album, although with others subsequently selling more it is now the fourth biggest. Frampton Comes Alive! has been certified as eight times platinum. The album won Frampton a Juno Award in 1977.
A tribute to the album’s staying power, readers of Rolling Stone ranked Frampton Comes Alive No. 3 in a 2012 poll of all-time favorite live albums. The article’s text stated, “He was loved by teenage girls, and their older brothers. He owned the year 1976 like nobody else in rock.” The success of Frampton Comes Alive! put him on the cover of Rolling Stone, in a famous shirtless photo by Francesco Scavullo. Frampton later said he regrets the photo because it changed his image as a credible artist into a teen idol.
Before the days of teen-idol, and a reminder of the early solo Frampton period – here is a slice of 1972 from Frampton’s Camel, live at The Paris Theatre.
Note: Tape is a bit hissy – but then, it’s 48 years old.