At the age of 16, Peter Frampton joined The Herd, a short-lived but moderately successful band that turned him into a teen idol overnight. Keen to impress people more for his talents than his looks, he left The Herd to join forces with Small Faces singer and guitarist Steve Marriott in Humble Pie two years later. He didn’t stick around for long, and by 1971 he’d jacked the band in for life as a solo artist. After a few trifling hits, he hit gold in 1976 with the double live album “Frampton Comes Alive!.” The album became one of the biggest-selling records of all time, sending Frampton’s career into orbit. Although he’d never reach such dizzying heights again, he continues to record and perform to this day. Here, we take a closer look at the 10 best Peter Frampton songs of all time.
10. White Sugar
Taken from Frampton’s second studio album, “Frampton’s Camel”, “White Sugar” is a solid, straightforward piece of rock and roll that still manages to get people shaking their booty at live sets to this day. It’s not necessarily Frampton’s most refined or sophisticated piece of work, but it’s hard to fault its sheer exuberance.
9. I Can’t Stand It No More
In 1978, Frampton suffered a horrific car accident in the Bahamas that marked the end of his mid-70s success. The hits dried up, the drug abuse kicked in, and suddenly, everyone’s favorite teen idol started to look a little washed up. He’d be back, of course, but the next 20 years wouldn’t be the happiest period for either him or his listeners. But even a fallow period can still turn out the occasional golden nugget, as evidenced by the very pleasant, if slightly safe, “I Can’t Stand It No More” from 1979.
8. Dig What I Say
The 80s started off badly for Frampton when his entire collection of guitars were destroyed in a cargo plane crash in Brazil. Still, he managed to get hold of some more in time for 1981’s “Breaking the Rules,” a not entirely successful album (at least from a commercial point of view) that still managed to give us a few good tracks to enjoy, including the hard-rocking “Dig What I Say,” an incendiary song with more fire in its belly than anything Frampton had done in years.
7. (I’ll Give You) Money
During his period with Humble Pie, Frampton was known as the mild counterpart to Steve Marriott’s wide-eyed rocker. But Frampton could rock and roll with the best of them, as he more than proves on 1975’s “(I’ll Give You) Money.” A big, heavy powerhouse of a song with a blazing riff and a menacing vibe, it packs a mighty punch, even by Marriott’s standards. It didn’t make much of an impression on the charts at the time, but subsequently went on to become one of the most popular tracks on “Frampton Comes Alive!”
6. It’s a Plain Shame
Frampton’s earliest albums as a solo artist didn’t fare brilliantly, and it wasn’t until “Frampton Comes Alive!” that he achieved megastar status. But poor sales don’t always mean poor albums, as evidenced by his 1972 outing, “Wind of Change.” It’s not perfect, but it’s still very decent, with a good selection of very listenable tracks. One of the standouts is “It’s a Plain Shame.” Released as the B side to a somewhat lackluster cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” it sank without trace – which, considering its blazing guitar riff and very pretty chorus, was a plain shame indeed.
5. Baby, I Love Your Way
As Return of Rock says, it’s hard not to use the word “nice” around “Baby, I Love Your Way”. An acoustic number with a pretty melody and even prettier lyrics, it manages to be sugary sweet while staying just the right side of saccharine. More pop than rock, it features an effective hook in the title lyrics and some incredible fingerpicking from Frampton.
4. Lines on My Face
Not many people can make a guitar speak – Frampton could, which may explain why he’s often said he considers himself more of a guitar player than a singer, and why he was happy for Steve Marriott to hog the mic during his Humble Pie years. But regardless of his personal opinion, most of the rest of us know him for both his amazing guitar work and his very fine vocals, both of which are on full display on this very well-crafted piece of rock.
3. Show Me the Way
If Frampton thought he’d tasted success in the years leading up to the release of “Frampton Comes Alive!,” it was nothing compared to what came after. While his first few albums as a solo artist failed to set the world on fire, “Frampton Comes Alive!” sent his career stellar. It was the biggest album of the year, one of the most popular records of the decade, and even now, still ranks as one of the best-selling live sets of all time. As iloveclassicrock.com says, although Frampton had recorded a studio version of “Show Me the Way” the year before, it wasn’t until we got to hear the live version that its greatness really sunk it. It ended up taking Frampton to No. 6 on the charts and giving him one of his most enduringly popular signature tunes to boot.
2. Nowhere’s Too Far for My Baby
According to ultimateclassicrock.com, “Nowhere’s Too Far for My Baby” is one of the finest song’s Frampton ever wrote. With its dynamic arrangement, blistering guitars, and super catchy verse, it’s hard to disagree. For whatever reason, the song was buried away on 1975’s “Frampton” without ever being released as a single. Even so, its joyous exuberance has earned it a place among Frampton’s most popular tunes.
1. Do You Feel Like We Do
Finally, we come to “Do You Feel Like We Do,” one of the best concert jams ever committed to tape and a testament to just how ridiculously awesome Frampton’s guitar playing really is. The original studio version was decent enough, but it wasn’t until it got extended to 15 minutes and given the talkbox treatment on “Frampton Comes Alive!” that its raw power and epic scale pushed it to the top of everyone essential playlist. This, in its essence, is what turned Frampton from a pop star into a legend.