Artist: Peter Frampton
Album: Acoustic Classics
Label: Pheonix Phonograph
Release Date: 02/26/2016
Any new album from UK rocker Frampton is bound to generate interest. A former Grammy award winner for his 2006 album Fingerprints, Frampton kicked off his career way back in England as a young 16-year-old frontman with the Herd before moving on and up with arguably one of the first ‘Supergroups,’ Humble Pie, where he shared the stage with his old buddy Steve Marriot. As early as 1976, he captured the USA with the multi-million selling Frampton Comes Alive. While his career has been a roller-coaster ride, with ups and downs aplenty, he has also managed to fit in sessions playing and touring with David Bowie, Bill Wyman and Ringo Starr, confirming his place as a major-league guitarist with those in the know.
In many ways this offering is perfect for time-travellers. It’s firmly rooted in Frampton’s past with a delightfully hippy, trippy sort of feel at times, yet a rewarding freshness with the stripped-down covers of many of his old hits including “Show Me The Way’, “Lines On My Face” and a track that alone would make this worth buying, “Baby, I Love Your Way,” here pared-down and played with passion and beauty by a quality fretworker.
Older guys amongst us will be irresistibly sucked in here, nodding, bopping and singing along to a remarkable back-catalogue that inevitably raises the thought of how surprisingly overlooked Frampton is and just how significantly prolific he was back in the day. While Acoustic Classics is unlikely to become a “Frampton Unplugged,” challenging Clapton’s immense success with the format, it remains a genuine delight and a truly wonderful release.
– Iain Patience