Frampton achieved a rarefied tier of success with his multi-platinum 1976 album, Frampton Comes Alive!, arguably the most successful live recording of all time. It has sold more than 16 million copies to date, and it remains an essential. In 2001, Universal released the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Frampton Comes Alive! to much acclaim.
Frampton has long been since been a mainstay on the rock scene. He played in late '60s-early '70s bands such as Herd and Humble Pie, as well as having appeared on George Harrison's classic All Things Must Pass album. Frampton's debut solo album, Wind of Change (A&M), was released in 1972. Prior to releasing Frampton Comes Alive!, the prolific songwriter had recorded a handful of well-received solo albums, with the gold-selling Frampton reaching #32 on the U.S. charts in 1975. This is the studio recording that yielded the classics, such as "Show Me The Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do" that would help drive the enormous success of Frampton's live opus.
In 2000, Frampton earned a "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" Grammy nomination for Live in Detroit. His last album, 2003's Now (Framptone/33rd Street Records), prompted the Associated Press to declare: When it comes to fiery, guitar-drenched rock, Frampton delivers. In the beginning of his career, Frampton had one thing on his mind: playing the guitar like his pop music heroes, including Marvin and Elvis Presley's guitar stalwart Scotty Moore. "I didn't want to sing", he says. "I wanted to be the guy behind the singer playing solos. I'd listen to Elvis songs but my focus was on Scotty. People like Hank and Scotty set the template for me".
Frampton recalls how in the early '60s England he went berserk for the Shadows, who were like the instrumental Beatles. "This was the start of everything for me", He said. "I became addicted to the guitar, he says, noting that he started to play the instrument when he was eight and took classical lessons at the age of twelve. The Shadows changed that quickly, he notes. "I wanted to play like them, so I got together with a couple of friends and formed a band that played every Shadows number. I can still play most of them." A few years later, when Beatlemania took hold, Frampton and co. started to integrate singing into their act. "But it was still the guitar playing for me," he says. "All the bands I was asked to join wanted me for my guitar."