Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Peter Frampton

There are a variety of groups that I tend to write about here in this particular series.  Some acts have a staggering degree of longevity of success and such obvious influence on other musical acts that makes it truly baffling that they have not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Others are more niche or genre acts that were massively important in their own genre, occasionally important in the mainstream, and likely to draw fierce interactions between fans and haters.  Today, though, I am talking about an artist who has a lengthy career of immense success both as a guitarist in other bands as well as a solo artist who has one of the best-selling live albums of all time (the 8x certified platinum Frampton Comes Alive) and was a vital innovator regarding the talk box technique which is featured brilliantly on “Do You Feel Like We Do?”  When one of my readers suggested that I write about Peter Frampton, I was a bit shocked that he was not already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but no, he is not.   This is all the more surprising since there are at least two or three cases that one could make for Peter Frampton being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Influence of Peter Frampton

The influence of Peter Frampton began long before he was a solo artist of his own.  Before he and his talk box were impressing listeners and being copied by other guitarists who saw how he and Joe Walsh [1] used the device, he was a member of the British supergroup Humble Pie, which ended up being a one-hit wonder in the UK and Australia and have a few minor hits in the United States [2].  Frampton had joined Humble Pie after leaving The Herd, a teen band that had three UK top 20 hits and that gave Frampton a reputation as an up and coming singer and guitarist [3].  By the time he went solo, he had already fulfilled on that promise, and his solo career added both the influence of Frampton’s impressive guitar work as well as some excellent songwriting that has provided a few rock classics that remain covered and influential to this day, even when the artists covering them are sometimes only marginally competent at best (like Will To Power).  If people are still copying your guitar techniques [4] and listening to and covering your songs more than 40 years after you honed your craft and released those songs, you are influential enough to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Why Peter Frampton Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

What does one get from Peter Frampton as a musician?  He learned his craft first in an early version of a teen rock act that achieved mild success but wanted credibility.  He then wrote songs and performed in a popular and important British rock supergroup before going solo and having one of the most popular live albums of all time and quite a few popular hits.  By the numbers, Frampton had three top ten hits (“I’m In You,” “Show Me The Way,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do), three other top 40 hits (“Baby I Love Your Way,” a cover of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” and “I Can’t Stand It No More,” all of which were on the top twenty, and a few other minor hits, along with some hits in mainstream rock, adult contemporary, and in Canada and the UK.  Ultimately, though, Peter Frampton’s best case as a solo artist is his work in Frampton Comes Alive, which is enough on its own to make Peter Frampton worth inducting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Besides that 8x platinum album, he has two gold and one platinum studio album, which is by no means contemptible, and certainly on a par with many inducted acts.

Why Isn’t Peter Frampton In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

It’s unclear why.   As I can see it, there are at least three possible cases for induction that can be made for Frampton.  First and most obviously, there is the case for his induction as a solo artist–both for his excellent guitar work as well as an enduring set of songs, especially from “Frampton Comes Alive” as well as the studio albums from Frampton to Where I Should Be.  There is an additional case to be made that his guitar work in Humble Pie and The Herd as well as his influential solo career and songwriting work is worthy of an Award For Musical Excellence.  Finally, Humble Pie could be inducted as an example of the RRHOF’s fondness for inducting supergroups.  Any one of these paths would make Peter Frampton a single or multiple inductee, as he deserves.  As to why the RRHOF hasn’t chosen any of these paths, your guess is as good as mine.

Verdict:  Put him in already.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/03/16/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-joe-walsh/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humble_Pie

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Herd_(British_band)

[4] Here is what Guitar World had to say about Frampton’s talk box work on “Do You Feel Like We Do?”:  Not only is Frampton Comes Alive! one of the biggest-selling live albums of all time, but with its biggest hit Frampton singlehandedly increased the vocabulary of the talk box, spitting out phrases previously unattempted by guitarists and easily one-upping Beck on articulation. Just listen to how the audience roars when the guitar asks the immortal question: “Do you feel like we do?” Stoned, maybe?”

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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8 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Peter Frampton

  1. mothfire says:

    Peter Frampton was a huge influence on jazz/rock with albums “Frampton Comes Alive” and “I’m In You”. He should be in on the basis of those albums alone.

    • Yes, I agree. Peter Frampton at the very least should be a shoe-in for an “Award For Musical Excellence” to recognize that influence. Why that hasn’t happened yet is somewhat baffling.

      • mothfire says:

        I think there was that awful movie he was in “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (which almost ended the BeeGees career as well) and the car accident he had in 1978 which took him out of circulation for awhile. Some say that we was not the same after that, however, his Fingerprints album won the Grammy in 2007 for best pop instrumental album. I just found out about this, but that album is on my instrumental playlist that I listen to at work.

      • That’s great; I’m not going to hold bad movies against any musical act, seeing as they are legion. His peak material and influence are sufficient, though it’s always nice when someone can recover and make some wonderful music. I’ll have to give Fingerprints a listen; I’m always up for good rock instrumental albums.

  2. Steve says:

    As I recall, critics were skeptical of Frampton when ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ took off, because they saw him as a carefully packaged but musically irrelevant feel-good-pop-rock idol. In their book ‘The Worst Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time,’ Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell attributed his success to the fact that “he had long hair and looked good with his shirt open.” They also called ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ “ironically titled. And some rock critics, like Chuck Young, welcomed the punk scene and hoped that the Sex Pistols would “spit on the Frampton flotilla.”

  3. James Howard says:

    Peter Frampton truly belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Frame in so many ways but the biggest is over 50 years of putting smiles in our lives as we sing a-long at concerts and on our patios nightly. He truly loves playing and being part of making his concerts an experience lead by his amazing smile. It would be such a shame in decades if they did it posthumously! What a waste that would be and for one I would put the voting members to the task of changing that now! He has earned it and let’s make it happen now!!🙏🙏🙏

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