To some, Peter Frampton will always be the good-looking ’70s guitar guy with the live double-album. To others he is a dynamic guitarist, full of great licks that still, 35 years later, makes really good albums.
Thank You Mr. Churchill is unique as both a showcase for his fine guitar playing and songwriting skills. The title cut, which thanks one of history’s greatest heroes for bringing his father home from the war, is a good example of the great story song that dominates this album. “Vaudeville Nanna and the Banjolele” recalls his youth, and several (“I’m Due a You”) reference his life before he stopped drinking seven years ago. All have memorable, melodic hooks.
The title cut also offers a big, full solo that’s loud and nasty even as it tips into jazz. The instrumental “Suite Liberte’ A. Megumi” shifts smoothly from acoustic to electric, while “Invisible Man” serves as Frampton’s tribute to Motown (and features some of the Funk Brothers) with a great feel and guitar darting in and out until a nasty solo out wraps things up. Thank You Mr. Churchill has a great sound. Frampton and co-producer Chris Kimsey wrapped the songs in the perfect sonic sandwich, making a real treat for fans and any rock-guitar lover.
This article originally appeared in VG’s Aug. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.