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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 6 From Small Things Big Things One Day Come!

Bruce Springsteen wrote a song during the sessions for The River album called 'From Small Things Big Things One Day Come'...and no, it's not another post about The Boss...I use the phrase as a launch pad to talk about something that happened in 1976, but before we get there a little background is in order.

Peter Frampton was born in Bromley, Kent in the UK back on 22nd April 1950. He became interested in music at the age of seven when he taught himself to play the Banjolele (a Banjo-shaped Ukulele) and would later teach himself how to play guitar and piano. At aged eight he began taking Classical Music lessons...these days folks would call him a total nerd!

He had a band at the age of 12 called The Little Ravens who actually supported at a school concert a band called George and the Dragons featuring fellow school pupil David Jones (Bowie). At lunchtime Frampton and Jones would apparently play Buddy Holly songs together...what a bizzare thing to contemplate the incredbily different musical paths they would take when older!

Aged 14 he was in a band called The Preachers, managed and produced by Bassist of the Rolling Stones Bill Wyman! He became a bit of a child star. In 1966 he joined a band called The Herd who went on to have a number of hit records and then in 1969 at the age of 18 he joined forces with Steve Marriott (I think I'm right in saying that there was talk at possibly having Frampton join the Small Faces at some point) for the band Humble Pie (formed after Marriott had departed the Small Faces). Their debut single Natural Born Bugie became a huge hit reaching #4 on the UK chart. He left the band in 1971 to begin a solo career.

His first three solo albums didn't even break into the Top 100 in the USA (and didn't even say "Boo!" to the UK Charts), his fourth simply entitled 'Frampton' (released in 1975) finally got him a hit album, well at #32 (though still no UK hit album). And after 8 singles had been released between 1972-75 there was still not even a whiff of place on the Singles chart let alone a hit!

Whilst out on tour in 1975 promoting the 'Frampton' album a number of shows were recorded for a possible live album. That album would follow in 1976.

Frampton Comes Alive! (Album in Full)
On this day, forty years ago Frampton Comes Alive! hit the shelves of record shops and immediately looked like it was going to be another bust. It didn't look too good as the album seemed to make no impression until 14th February 1976. The album entered the charts at #191. Live albums of course didn't always fare well on the market. As with the Frampton album's first single Show Me The Way so in February 1976 Show Me The Way (Live)* was chosen as the first single. It would go on to be a smash hit in the US peaking at #6 and in the UK rising as high as #10.

I'm sure that a couple of weeks after the release of the album, and even the week it entered the charts that Peter Frampton and his label A&M would never have predicted what happend next!

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 six 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 six times platinum. The album also has estimated sales of 11 million worldwide.

In the UK Peter Frampton would also have his first hit album as Frampton Comes Alive! peaked at #6.

* This performance of Show Me The Way was filmed at The Old Grey Whistle Test for the BBC in 1976.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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