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Pop - Released April 27, 2010 | Universal Music Enterprises

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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | A&M

Frampton's fall from grace has been scrutinized ad nauseam, but notice the abundant use of "I" on this record as opposed to "you" in his hottest songs: "Do You Feel Like We Do," "I'll Give You Money," and "I'm in You." Here, Frampton is focused on self-preservation, rather than just blasting audiences like the straight rocker he is. The decent title cut begs to be "Back on the road, where I should be." No doubt, as over the year preceding the album Frampton suffered a car accident and his celebrity star imploded. The most excellent opener, "I Can't Stand It No More," lets loose another cry for the simpler days (akin to Cheap Trick's "Stop This Game"); the single even rose to number 13 on Billboard's Top 40, the last time Frampton would see the charts. Otherwise this wax stumbles over some weird disco steps and drags in the talk box for an attempt at former glory. Frampton has always tried to escape the gilded cage of his looks, first through the dirty blooze of Humble Pie and then as a low-key average guy whose career unexpectedly hit the stratosphere. By Where I Should Be, the world wanted too much from Frampton, a rock guitarist trapped in a teenybopper body. © Doug Stone /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | A&M

Breaking All the Rules is a good, solid effort by Peter Frampton which would have been better had he decided to break a few rules. The problem here is that Frampton is treading water, in familiar territory, singing and playing within the confines of a well constructed safe record. There is a brilliant hook in "Going to L.A." which might have been a hit had co-producer David Kershenbaum given it a little of what he would inject into Tracy Chapman seven years after this. A strong vocal from Frampton as well as a strong performance, but a failure to do what his last three albums did: generate a Top 20 hit! Billy & Bobby Alessi's "Rise Up" is in the pocket, one of the album's highlights, though it tends to sound like John Cougar's 1979 chart climber "I Need a Lover," chock full of the sound from that record and a little out of place here. Vanda and Young's eternal "Friday on My Mind" is decent, certainly better than Alice Cooper guitarist Michael Bruce's version, but not typical of Peter Frampton's repertoire and almost unnecessary. The production on this Easybeats cover is noticeably thinner than the rest of the disc. Bostonian David Finnerty's "I Don't Wanna Let You Go" shows up here, but it doesn't have the snap of his 1975 hit, "Let's Live Together," and sounds as labored as the Joneses, that author's 1980s band on Atlantic. "Lost a Part of You" is a worthy album track sequel to "I'm in You," Frampton's biggest hit, but is more laid-back in performance. There are some clever riffs that help make "You Kill Me" and the title tune interesting. "Breaking All the Rules," in particular, has a Sabbath-inspired fuzz guitar line from the Rolling Stones' "Bitch." Where he does break the rules is that Procol Harum lyricist Keith Reid writes the words on this title number, despite some of Frampton's best lyrics appearing on his own compositions. Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro provide guitar and drums as part of a more than competent band on an equally competent recording. Making a good record was not what was required of Peter Frampton at this point in time, he had to come back with something spectacular. Breaking All the Rules is hampered by its creator's position in the rock hierarchy, but shouldn't be overlooked because of that. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Hip-O Select

Although this show has circulated on comparatively lo-fi bootlegs lifted right off the air from the KSAN-FM radio broadcasts, thanks to the internet-accessible audio outlet Hip-O Select, Live in San Francisco: March 24, 1975 (2004) presents the roughly hour-long contents the way they deserve to be heard. Ever since his days in Humble Pie, Peter Frampton (guitar/vocals) had found the Bay Area to be extremely supportive and according to the artist's comments in the liner notes, San Francisco's primary AOR radio station "KSAN was really responsible for making San Francisco the city that broke me so far ahead of anywhere else in the country." Frampton is joined by John Siomos (drums), while the recent departure of Rick Wills (bass) -- who hooked up with Foreigner -- sent Andy Bown (bass/vocals) from the keyboards to the bass. That left the freshly vacated piano stool to be filled by new recruit Bob Mayo (keyboard/guitar/vocals). After a subdued "Introduction" from KSAN's Richard Gossett, Frampton slides into a sublime solo acoustic take of the title track to his debut LP Winds of Change (1972). As the program emanated from the state of the art Record Plant in Sausalito, there is no audience present, allowing the quartet to -- in Frampton's words -- "concentrate on the intricacies." They do and the results are uniformly brilliant. Despite having completed a multiple-performance stand just days earlier at Winterland Arena, the band sounds remarkably relaxed, contributing no doubt to the set's undeniably dynamic nature. The difference in ambience between these selections and those recorded a mere three months later for the biggest-selling live album in history -- Frampton Comes Alive (1976) -- is immeasurable. In addition to the aforementioned 'unplugged' "Winds of Change," the affecting and lyrical "Lines on My Face" is worth the price of admission alone. Frampton's fluid fretwork is at its peak and thanks to the faultless audio extracted from the original multi-track master tapes, the subtle sonic shadings and details are there to be revelled in. Things get cranked up considerably for a hearty reading of "Somethin's Happening," as well as the thoroughly ignited and otherwise string-bending "It's a Plain Shame" and "(I'll Give You) Money." Most surprising is the freshness of "Baby, I Love Your Way" and the 12-plus-minute "Do You Feel Like We Do," as both were all but ruined by incessant (almost to the point of become satires of the arena rock genre) spins on rock and Top 40 radio. Here they are given a further lease on life and offered as a welcome change from their Frampton Comes Alive counterparts. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Now

Rock - Released August 26, 2003 | Universal Music Enterprises

"I'm back" acknowledges Peter Frampton in the song of the same name from his first studio album in nine years. But even though Frampton claims he had complete control over every aspect of this release, the results show that maybe a good A&R person should have been hired for consultation. While this is undoubtedly a Frampton disc, complete with strummy ballads, a handful of harder-edged tunes, and lots of shimmering guitar solos, songs like the riff rocker "I'm Back" -- that sports puerile lyrics such as "I'm back, like Schwarzenegger in Terminator, I'm back like a boomerang" -- could use some tinkering. Otherwise, little has changed over the decades since Frampton's superstar days. He can still write a pretty Beatles-esque ballad like this disc's charming "Above it All." However, the sap factor is far too high on the tune to his daughter "Mia Rose," a track that should have stayed as a personal lullaby and not something he needs to subject the rest of us to. Keyboardist Bob Mayo -- from the Frampton Comes Alive band -- has stuck in there; but the guitarist co-writes the majority of these cuts with Nashville pro Gordon Kennedy, who also adds backing vocals. There's nothing wrong with shuffling pop-rockers like "Flying Without Wings," or the opening "Verge of a Thing," except Frampton tries too hard to rock out, and barely manages to navigate his way through increasingly clumsy lyrics. Far better are the numerous ballads and the Jeff Beck/Blow By Blow-styled jazz-rock instrumental "Greens," which showcases Frampton's beautifully incisive quicksilver guitar. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the album's only cover, is a by-the-numbers but heartfelt tribute to George Harrison, highlighted by a powerful solo. Now is a middling return to form, with peaks, valleys and enough sparks to show that Peter Frampton remains a vibrant artist who might have some better albums in him. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 15, 1992 | A&M

Shine On: A Collection is a double-disc, 30-song set featuring all of Peter Frampton's best-known songs and biggest hits, plus a couple of rarities and unreleased cuts for hardcore fans. While the collection is far too thorough for casual listeners, any fan who wants to dig deeper than Frampton Comes Alive! should start with Shine On, particularly since most of Frampton's individual older albums have been out of print for years. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 20, 2020 | Universal Music Enterprises

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Motown Records Group

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music Enterprises

Peter Frampton releases records so rarely that he’s almost forced to plainly admit their themes in the titles: 2003’s Now dealt with the present while its 2010 successor, Thank You Mr. Churchill, casts an eye toward the past, Frampton piecing together his history from WWII to modern times. Fittingly for a concept album so ambitious, Frampton has wound up with a heavy progressive rock record, roiling with dense riffs, segmented songs, and winding blues jams. Happily, he hasn't ignored his previous life as either a Tamla/Motown devotee or pop star, cutting the introspection and ambition with a handful of lighter moments -- such as the unashamed arena rocker “I’m Due a You,” the irrepressible bounce of “Invisible Man” (which does indeed feature members of the Funk Brothers), and even the circular acoustic guitar of “Restraint” -- that give the album levity while broadening its palette, helping to push Thank You Mr. Churchill to one of Frampton’s richest records and unexpectedly one of his best. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Widow's Peak Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music Enterprises

Peter Frampton releases records so rarely that he’s almost forced to plainly admit their themes in the titles: 2003’s Now dealt with the present while its 2010 successor, Thank You Mr. Churchill, casts an eye toward the past, Frampton piecing together his history from WWII to modern times. Fittingly for a concept album so ambitious, Frampton has wound up with a heavy progressive rock record, roiling with dense riffs, segmented songs, and winding blues jams. Happily, he hasn't ignored his previous life as either a Tamla/Motown devotee or pop star, cutting the introspection and ambition with a handful of lighter moments -- such as the unashamed arena rocker “I’m Due a You,” the irrepressible bounce of “Invisible Man” (which does indeed feature members of the Funk Brothers), and even the circular acoustic guitar of “Restraint” -- that give the album levity while broadening its palette, helping to push Thank You Mr. Churchill to one of Frampton’s richest records and unexpectedly one of his best. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 13, 1986 | Universal Music Enterprises

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Rock - Released October 27, 2014 | StarPointe Records

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Rock - Released January 22, 2016 | Ten12 Entertainment

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Rock - Released January 8, 1989 | Universal Music Enterprises

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Eagle Rock - Eagle Records

It's easy and natural to confuse this three-disc audio package with the similarly titled DVD/Blu-Ray that was released simultaneously with the same cover art, especially since the song selection is nearly identical. But the CD set is a slightly different animal since it grabs what Frampton thinks are the best performances of the material played from various gigs on his year-long tour from 2011-2012. In comparison, the video is two complete shows from a few cities. The musical differences are subtle, yet there is a case to be made that the audio is a better document of this material and that hardcore fans may indeed want to spring for both. Regardless, even if the concept of classic rockers and new wavers playing their classic albums from start to finish is already cliché in 2012, Frampton and his band, of which only bassist Stanley Sheldon remains from the 1977 Frampton Comes Alive! outfit, deliver a robust and thoroughly convincing show. Considering that the guitarist has likely played much of this material at every concert for the previous three decades, his commitment and sheer enjoyment seem to be fresh, and if not always inspired, certainly inspirational. Frampton's voice isn't quite as fluid as it was 35 years prior, but the slight, grainy edge that age brings injects a somewhat more sober note to these energetic performances. Almost every song is longer, too, with "I'll Give You Money" jumping from just under six minutes in 1975 to over nine minutes here. The show-stopping, talk box-driven "Do You Feel Like We Do" expands, for better or worse, from 12 to nearly 18 minutes with a newly added, jazzy interlude from electric pianist Rob Arthur. If that were all, it would be a pretty successful revival of an album that surprisingly hasn't lost its luster since its mid-'70s release. But Frampton returns with a stunning second set, arguably better than the first, that features live versions of more obscure, newer selections. He also digs into oldies from his tenure in Humble Pie, including a raucous "I Don't Need No Doctor" and an appearance from son Julian who sings lead on that track and a few others. Frampton's guitar chops are finely tuned throughout but he gets a chance to really exhibit them on the beautiful ten-minute classical/blues/jazz-based instrumental "Suite: Liberte" from 2010's unjustly ignored Thank You Mr. Churchill. A roaring 12-minute take on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" begins with an almost avant-garde intro before Frampton hits the noted riff almost three minutes later and builds the intensity until it explodes in a goosebump-raising crescendo. With over three hours of music, nearly all of this is pretty terrific -- what could have been a shoddy, cash-generating knockoff is powerful proof that Frampton might indeed be getting better as he ages. The result is an artistic triumph and a musical treat, especially for fans and even for those who may not have been born when Frampton Comes Alive! was a staple in dorm rooms and ruled the charts in 1976. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo