26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The classic live album just got even better,
By A Customer
This review is from: Frampton Comes Alive (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2CD) (Audio CD)
This 25th anniversary reissue (can it really be that long since I rushed out to buy the double LP shortly after its release??) of one of rock's most famous (and sadly sometimes derided) live albums returns some of the authenticity which was lost from the original album. Three more live tracks from the series of American concerts which gave rise to the ‘Comes alive’ album are added, together with a live performance recorded in an American studio in the same year, 1975. The order of the songs is returned to that of the original shows, the sequence used on the original album having been dictated primarily by the constraints of LP-side timings. The new sequencing of the tracks is fine, and the concert seems to take on a new character as a result, with a more pronounced ‘unplugged’ section in the middle. All the tracks have been remastered and some remixing done, and the recording again becomes a double album, since it no longer fits on to one CD. The packaging is superb, with very high quality archive concert photos, a new essay, and all the song lyrics - not that they exactly qualify as great poetry!
However, despite these changes the resulting album is not perhaps quite as good as it might have been. The remastering is a bit louder than the previous CD remaster, but not significantly different, and whatever remixing has been done is so subtle as to be virtually undetectable. I had hoped that by way of a change the rather intrusive audience noise (especially the scary bang in the middle of ‘Wind of change’) might have been reduced a little in this version, but it remains as loud as before. The live studio take of ‘Day’s dawning’ is an interesting piece of history, but weak compared with the original version which opens the ‘Frampton’ album. The three extra performances from the ‘Comes alive’ concerts are all excellent and fill out the recording to approximately the correct length for Peter’s concerts of the time. However, one can’t help feeling that there must have been other songs in the band’s repertoire which were performed in that summer of ’75, and which could have been included here to fill out the double CD. They needn’t have formed part of the ‘concert proper’, but could have been added as a postscript, like the radio studio cut, in order to give a really comprehensive overview of the band’s work at that time. Instead all we have essentially is the original live album with 3 extra performances – perhaps not enough to be trumpeted as a special anniversary edition.
To sum up though, despite these criticisms, this is an improved version of the previously available album, and it remains a classic which defined the sound of FM rock radio just prior to the ‘punk’ onslaught. Unfairly criticized by some as just a pretty-faced poser, Frampton demonstrates that he can play melodic rock guitar far better than most, as well as putting on an exciting live show which the audience thoroughly enjoys. So if like me you considered ‘Comes alive’ to be an indispensable 70s rock album, you will probably agree that this version is even better than the original. (By way of comparison, I would also recommend the 1999 ‘Live in Detroit’ album by Frampton – be sure to get the extended, double CD version – which shows that though he has lost most of his hair and gained a little weight since the glory days of ‘75, Peter’s guitar playing and live performance appeal remain intact.)
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Initial post: 23 Nov 2013 00:15:27 GMT
Mr. I. R. Rogers says:
Remember, Frampton wanted the audience to be as loud as you hear it because THAT IS AS LOUD AS YOU HEAR IT AT A GIG!!!! Or have you never been to any gigs? Never mind.
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