Peter Frampton is well known for his prowess as an electric guitarist, first finding fame with the boogie-rock band Humble Pie before becoming an international superstar as a solo artist thanks to his classic 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive! For his latest album, however, the 65-year-old musician decided to make his first-ever fully unplugged record, Acoustic Classics, which was released on Friday.
“I was just trying to think of something different to do so I don’t repeat myself, and I had never done an all-acoustic album,” Frampton tells ABC Radio. “I thought it was a nerve-wracking idea, but I think that when you’re sort of scared about something, that challenges you.”
Peter says he ended up really enjoying the project, which features stripped-down versions of his biggest hits — such as “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love You Way” and “I’m in You” — as well as a few of his own favorites from his solo catalog. The album also includes one brand-new tune, “All Down to Me,” which Frampton co-wrote with his frequent musical collaborator Gordon Kennedy.
Frampton admits that he initially considered not including one of his best-known songs, “Do You Feel Like We Do,” on the new album because he thought it was a jam song better suited for a full band.
“But I decided…’All right, let’s give it a go,'” he explains. “So I just tried the intro, and then I put the harmony line on it with a different acoustic, and it made me smile. And I thought, ‘This could be fun.'” To fit the concept of the record, Peter slightly altered the song’s title to “Do You Feel Like I Do.”
Peter’s hit live version of “Show Me the Way” famously features the electronic “talk box” effect, and he tells ABC Radio that he “had an argument with [himself] for many days” about whether to include it on the Acoustic Classics rendition. In the end, he did put talk box on the unplugged “Show Me the Way,” reasoning that even the studio version of the tune featured the effect.
Frampton says that in the middle of recording Acoustic Classics, he was inspired to line up a brief U.S. trek, dubbed the “Raw” tour, to perform the stripped-down material.
“That was something that I never thought I’d do, and just thought I’d try,” he tells ABC Radio. “And, it was great. I mean, it’s a completely different vibe, obviously, from playing with the band. Smaller theater, more living room setup. It’s very intimate…It’s like [MTV’s] Unplugged and Storytellers rolled into one.”
Accompanying him at the shows was Kennedy, while Peter’s son, Julian Frampton, served as the opening act as well as coming out during his dad’s set to perform a few tunes. With Acoustic Classics now available, Frampton will launch another series of “Raw” tour dates next month, running from a March 9 concert in Tucson, Arizona, through a March 26 performance in Tacoma, Washington.
You also can catch Peter performing tonight, February 29, on TBS’ Conan, which airs at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT.
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Source: Classic Rock News