Ignored Obscured Restored
In October, Peter Frampton officially retired, wrapping up his “Finale: The Farewell Tour” in nearby Concord, CA. Sadly, the underrated guitarist was motivated to undertake a final tour because he has been battling a degenerative muscle disease – inclusion-body myositis – that would eventually rob him of his ability to perform.
Most famous for his mega-sales, live double album, Frampton Comes Alive! (1976), Frampton deserves recognition for so much more.
Frampton started to play in bands when he was only 12 years old. By the time he was 16, he was recording with The Herd.
When Steve Marriott, of The Small Faces, formed Humble Pie in 1969, Frampton was recruited to be in that band’s original line-up. Frampton joined Humble Pie, in part to escape the teen idol image he was tagged with as the frontman for The Herd. He stayed with the band until 1971 when the development of his softer, pop songwriting didn’t fit in with Marriott’s more hard-rocking vision.
Today’s SotW, “Shine On,” is a good example of that quandary.
“Shine On” is the lead track from Humble Pie’s fourth album, Rock On (1971). The heavy guitar combined with a keen pop sensibility of “Shine On” point toward the songs that would make Frampton an international superstar later in the decade with hits like “Show Me the Way” and “Baby, I Love Your Way.” He delivers a terrific, soulful vocal too.
It was fitting that Frampton chose to close out his career in northern California. His high watermark, Frampton Comes Alive!, was recorded primarily at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom.
Enjoy… until next week.