July 30 – Frampton Was In A Lot Of Record Collections

The problem with being on top of the world is it’s hard to go upwards! Peter Frampton found that out in 1977 – although on this day 44 years back, perhaps that wasn’t clear to him yet. The title track of his fifth studio album, I’m In You got to #2 on the Billboard singles chart, the highest any of his singles ever got. The song actually got to top the Canadian charts, but true to form was met with more indifference in his homeland, missing the top 40 entirely in the UK. The blonde guitar wiz had been more popular in North America than Britain dating back to the early days of his early-’70s band, Humble Pie. Little surprise then that he was residing most of the time in the U.S. and recorded most of I’m In You in New York.

I’m In You came out just about two years after his previous studio album, the self-titled Frampton. More significantly though, it came out a year and change after his breakthrough live, double album Frampton Comes Alive which had put him on the musical map. That album had gone 6X platinum in the U.S. and dominated both AM radio (with singles like “Show Me the Way”) and FM rock channels (with the long, talkbox-featuring “Do You Feel Like We Do?”) He’d risen from obscurity to a sex symbol and one of the major concert attractions in America’s Bicentennial year.

Following up that kind of hit is a challenge, and more so when pressed for time, as Peter surely was trying to do a major tour and write a new album simultaneously. As allmusic pointed out, Frampton’s approach was “clear that (he) was exploring new sides” to his talent. He utilized a lot more keyboards on this one than past efforts (most of which he played himself) and called on some of his high-power friends like Stevie Wonder and Mick Jagger to help out. Mick actually sings backup on this single, although it wasn’t as clearly heard as it was on “Tried to Love” on the record.

The song “I’m In you” was a likable little love song, which Frampton insists was meant to be speaking more spiritually or metaphorically than physically, despite ribald jokes aplenty about it. Mind you, I’m sure many young women liked imagining it the other way… Peter was indeed one of the hot male sex symbols of the era, which was played up by the album cover with him in tight leather pants and an open shirt. Allmusic consider the song “a high point” but correctly assume “it was inevitable (it) would be thought of as a letdown” after the huge success he’d had the previous year.

The next single off it was a cover of Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” which had Stevie himself joining Peter, but it was met with lukewarm response and after that, Peter was more or less consigned to the label of aging-has been. That’s something he seems to take in stride, joking at times that when TV shows call he responds with something like “let me guess – you want me to be a grumpy, bitter old rocker, right?” with a laugh. Hopefully he’ll maintain the sense of humor as he’s suffering from a muscular disease called myositis which makes playing difficult. In 2019 he put out an album of blues music and did what he says will be his final tour; last year he published a memoir, Do You Feel Like I Do?

26 thoughts on “July 30 – Frampton Was In A Lot Of Record Collections

    1. badfinger20 (Max)

      It sure did…the only one to survive that was Aerosmith…it hurt the Bee Gees also…you DON’T redo that album in any form…why not Dark Side of the Moon…On Ice!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Just listened to “Tried to Love.” Wow! Definitely has a George Harrison feel to it and musically complex. My opinion differs on the Sgt. Pepper movie. Because Hans and I have disagreed on it so many times, I recently watched to refresh my 30 year-old memory of it. The movie is pretty bad technically and just generally, but just seeing all of the musical icons in there, including a very very cute Peter Frampton and the Pattie Boyd lookalike (which I didn’t notice until this watching) “Strawberry Fields” is delightful to me. How could adoring female fans not enjoy seeing him in this (speaking only for myself.)

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    1. Never seen the movie, you might be only person I know who liked it but I’ll reserve judgment until (if?) I ever see it. Heard some of the music…not real bad but not as good as the original & I think many found it sacreligious to redo them.

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      1. Oh dear, and how many endless covers have been done of all of their songs? It’s a cheesy bit of film making and won’t win any awards, but everyone is young and full of energy in it (except George Burns, who I think was born old, and even he has a little spryness to his step) and it’s worth it to me. I also think they may have been trying to capture some of the zaniness in some of the Beatles movies in it. I wish you would see it so you could share your thoughts on it.

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      2. i might try to take a look if I see it streaming somewhere. You might have a point about the re-capturing the feel of Beatles movies. I saw ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ three or four years back… that was …odd.

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      3. Dave, the only movie of theirs I’ve seen from beginning to end is “A Hard Day’s Night.” I tried to watch one or two of the other ones and just couldn’t get into them. I”m guessing “Magical Mystery Tour” was one of them.

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  2. I Gave Frampton Live a listen last week. Amazed at how good the sound and musicianship were for a live album. Sgt. Pepper movie, God awful, I couldn’t finish it. I gave the soundtrack to my wife’s sister because she likes the BeeGee’s.

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    1. The live album does stand the test ot time rather like Cheap Trick’s 2 or 3 years later. Never seen the SPLHCB movie but have seen plenty of reviews, few of them good!

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  3. badfinger20 (Max)

    I liked Peter when he was in Humble Pie a lot…he really rocked and he did great on that live album of course…after that live album it was downhill…I hate it because he is one hell of a great guitar player but I think he forgot that along the way and tried to be a sex symbol.

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      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        Oh he was…no doubt..I just wish he would have continued down that path he made with the live album…the guitar-based things. I’m a Frampton fan…one of the underrated British guitar players. He went way pop after that album.

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      2. the one thing that really strikes me is that he and Cheap Trick are the only two acts I can think of who were slogging along for years comparatively un-noticed until reaching super-stardom through a live album. Usually its the opposite – when they’re red-hot and tired, they throw out a live album to meet contractual obligations and it goes all but unnoticed.

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      3. yes, he really was suddenly huge. I have this one random memory of that Bicentennial summer. We went to Florida for it. But my Mom and I took the bus down from Toronto and my dad joined us a week or two later (and we drove home together). I remember having a few magazines to read on the bus, and one was something like ‘People’ and Frampton was on the cover and there was a huge section of the mag devoted to him. I remember thinking “yeah, I like those songs CHUM plays of his” and, yes, even as young as I was then , do recall noticing there were a lot of good looking young women by the stage in the concert shots.

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      4. I appreciate you sharing that memory, Dave. I just remember I was partying hearty that summer and everywhere I went the album was playing and cranked. I also remember the thrill of when he made his guitar talk lol. Ah the good old days.

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    1. Most people were like that, possibly with good reason. Same goes for Cheap Trick Live at Budokan vs their first couple of studio albums they got the live songs from

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