Many first heard the English rock star on his chart-obliterating live album – but Frampton already had four solo albums under his belt. This studio pair, from 1974-’75, display wicked guitarmanship and are now remastered on this two-CD set.
Somethin’s Happening found Peter already mixing heavy guitar with pop and soft-rock textures. “Golden Goose” and the Doobie Brothers knock-off “Doobie Wah” are radio-ready missles, laden with breezy chords and rock attitude. The production is cluttered, but portrays a young rocker hunting for FM gold.
Peter finally worked out the audio kinks for 1975’s Frampton, the best studio album of his career. “Day’s Dawning” is whip-smart rocker, topped with phase-shifter guitar, while “Show Me the Way” is a blueprint for the iconic talk-box single from Frampton Comes Alive. Tuning to G-G-D-G-B-D, Peter reveals his acoustic fingerstyle skills on “Penny For Your Thoughts.”
For sharp songwriting, “One More Time” and “Apple of Your Eye” are pop-rock gems, with ringing acoustics and cleanish leads. “Fanfare” deploys a massively compressed solo; for harder stuff, Peter wails on “Nowhere’s Too Far (For My Baby).”
By the final metallic riff of “(I’ll Give You) Money,” you’ll realize the 25-year-old Frampton was more than ready to conquer the world.
This article originally appeared in VG’s December 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.